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Build • Invent • Create • Discover
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in the Smithsonian's collection is estimated at 137 million. The Smithsonian is
a renowned research center, dedicated to public education, national service,
and scholarship in the arts, sciences, and history.

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Build • Invent • Create • Discover
Foreword by Jack Andraka
6 Foreword


10 Sticky slime 40 DNA model
14 Invisible ink 44 Paper planes
18 Baked Alaska 52 Sensational speakers
24 Monster marshmallows 56 Rubber band planets
28 Sugar crystal lollipops 62 Dazzling kaleidoscope
34 Lemon battery 66 Balloon rocket car
74 Sturdy bridge
80 Dancing snake
86 Breathing machine
94 Density tower 130 Jungle in a bottle
98 Waterwheel 134 Fantastic fossils
104 Soap-powered boat 138 Shoe box plant
108 Fabulous filter 144 Beautiful sun prints
114 Stunning stalactite 148 Erupting volcano
118 Bath fizzies 154 Wind catcher
124 Icy orbs

158 Glossary
160 Index
When my brother and I were growing up, our mom call this making observations. Did the end results of the
taught us how scientists answer their questions. They experiment agree with the hypothesis? What if one thing
use a process called the scientific method. After this, in the experiment were changed? Each thing that can be
we spent a lot of time in the kitchen doing classic changed in an experiment is called a variable. For instance,
experiments, just like the ones you’ll find in this book. what would happen if you used a different fruit when
making your battery? What if you modified the design
Before we embarked on an experiment, we always of your airplane wing or increased the amount of shampoo
started with a question: How can fruit become a battery? you put in your slime?
What do I need to include in a water filter? How can I
bake ice cream and not have it melt into a gooey mess? My brother and I enjoyed working together on experiments
Then we read up on our topic, we did our background like the ones featured in Maker Lab—coming up with our
research, and came up with an educated guess of what own hypotheses, trying out our ideas, and comparing
was going to happen in our experiment. This task is called results. And, of course, we always liked sharing what we
constructing a hypothesis, or making an educated guess, learned. You, too, can share your scientific research with
and it’s essential to the scientific process. a family member, friend, or teacher. You are a scientist!

Then it was time to test that hypothesis by conducting Every scientist needs to know the basics of the scientific
the experiment and seeing what happened. Scientists method, which consists of the following steps: ask
a question; research your question; form a hypothesis; Maker Lab contains great experiments for beginning
test your hypothesis through experimentation; analyze scientists, and with it you can start on your journey to
the data; draw a conclusion; and communicate your results. discovering the wonders and the whys of science. Using
Scientists use this method every day in their labs to what you’ve learned from these experiments, you can
discover ways to design safer cars, cure diseases, and begin to imagine what YOU can do to solve problems
make our food healthier and tastier. It’s the method in your community and change the world for the better.
I used when I made a sensor to detect cancer and a
water filter that uses recycled plastic water bottles.
I wonder what YOU are going to use it for!

Using this book, you will be able not only to read about
science, but also to get practical, hands-on experience.
We young scientists have to start somewhere, and this
book will help you begin finding out for yourself the answers JACK ANDRAKA
to questions about food science, how DNA works, and how www.jackandraka.com
paper airplanes fly, among others. As a young scientist, you
can start by asking “Why?” And by making messes,
making mistakes, and making connections.
The kitchen is a great place to learn about science. The experiments in
this chapter use food that could be in your cupboard, fridge, or fruit bowl
right now. You'll find out how to grow sparkling crystals, keep food ice-cold
in a hot oven, and make electricity. Some experiments produce yummy edible
treats you can share with friends, and you'll find plenty of exciting projects
to nourish your brain!

Give the slime a

firm squeeze and
see what happens!

Slime can be any color,

depending on what food
coloring you add to
the mixture.


Like some alien gloop from a science fiction movie, this
homemade slime will slither everywhere when you pick
it up. There’s really nothing extraterrestrial about this
mixture, though, because it’s mostly made of cornstarch
and water, with a splash of shampoo.
This sticky substance is easy to make, fun to play with, and behaves
very weirdly indeed. Hold it in your hand for just a few seconds and
see if you can figure out if it is a solid or a liquid. Not sure? It’s no
wonder, since this slime will flow through your fingers like a thick
liquid, but then, if you squeeze, it will behave like a solid. Believe it
or not, gooey mixtures like this are still liquids even when they’re
behaving like solids. Try not to make too much of a mess!

This experiment can get messy, so put down wax paper to catch
any sticky spills. Although there’s nothing poisonous in the mixture,
don’t put the slime in your mouth. If you want slime that is more
gloopy, warm water is ideal—but don’t use boiling water, which
could scald you. It’s also a good idea to wash your hands after Time Difficulty
20 minutes Medium
you’ve finished playing with the slime, because this keeps the
slime from getting all over the furniture!


Airtight Food coloring Invisible tape

Wax paper

1 Tape a sheet of wax paper to your work surface.
Pour a generous amount of food coloring into the
large mixing bowl. Then add the shampoo. Notice how
Spatula slowly the shampoo flows—the technical term for this
/ cup (1
1 2 War gloopy behavior is viscosity.
20 m

a te
) s h a m po o

L ar g e
m ix
4 cups (500


r ns

2 Add the cornstarch to the mixing bowl and stir

the contents with the spatula. This is hard at
the start because there’s a lot of powder and not
much liquid. Don’t worry: more liquid is going in.

A molecule is the smallest part of a compound. It’s the starch
molecules reacting with water that are responsible for the slime’s
viscosity. As long as the molecules can move around, the mixture
stays liquid. Sudden pressure, though, makes the molecules jam
together, so the mixture can’t flow.

Starch molecules
are larger than
water molecules.

3 Add a few tablespoonfuls of warm water. Keep

stirring to mix the water into the cornstarch.
The water makes starch (a substance in the
Water molecule

cornstarch) expand, forming a network that holds WITHOUT PRESSURE

the water and cornstarch together in a slimy mixture. As long as you handle the slime gently and don’t squish it too
hard, the starch molecules can move around, suspended in the
water. This makes a thick, slow-flowing liquid.

The starch
molecules lock

The water
molecules are
squeezed out.

4 Gradually, your mixture will turn into a thick

paste. Pick it up and knead it in your hands—
it will get really gloopy! But if you thump or squeeze
If you press hard on the slime, you squeeze out the water
molecules from between the starch molecules, which lock
together and make the slime feel more solid.
the slime, its viscosity increases enormously
and it becomes hard, like a solid.

5 Now go for it! Squash, punch,

or slam your slime on the table
to make it turn solid. Whenever you
A liquid with a viscosity that
changes under pressure is known
as a non-Newtonian fluid. Some
stop, it will turn into a liquid again. If of these liquids, such as slime,
you want to keep the slime, pour it get thicker and behave like
into an airtight container while it’s solids. But quicksand—a mixture
runny. That way it won’t dry out of sand, clay, and water—is
and you can use it for an example of a liquid that gets runnier. If you get stuck
about a month. in quicksand and struggle to get out, your movements
will cause you to sink.

If you want to write a hidden message or make a treasure
map that you want to keep secret, then you need invisible
ink. One of the easiest and most effective invisible inks is
lemon juice. Write a message on paper with lemon juice,
and the message will instantly disappear because the
juice dries clear. To reveal the message, apply some
heat and watch it appear before your eyes.

Keep your invisible

ink in a jar.

Paintbrushes and
cotton swabs are
good tools to use
for applying the ink.

Once the paper is heated,

the lines on the map appear
as dark brown marks.

This map was drawn with lemon juice on white paper. It was invisible
before it was put in a hot oven. The heat caused a chemical reaction
to take place on the lemon-soaked paper, making the brown color
of the lines appear to reveal the secret map.

The ink in this experiment is pure lemon juice. When it
dries, it's invisible! To reveal your lemon-juice message Warning
or map, you need to put the paper into a hot oven. Hot oven! Be
Find an adult for this part and follow the suggested careful, and
Time Difficulty get help from
temperature setting—any hotter may cause the paper 45 minutes Medium an adult
to catch fire. If you are using a gas oven, make sure
the paper is placed away from the flame.


Cutting board

1 Cut the lemon in half and squeeze its juice into

the small bowl. Once you’ve got as much of the
juice as you can from the lemon, put its flesh and
rind into a composter or recycling bin, if you have
one. Then wash and dry your hands.
White paper
S m a ll


Cotton swab

Oven mitt

2 Dip the cotton swab into the lemon juice and

write a message or draw something on the
paper. At first, you will be able to see the lines
that you draw, but then, as the lemon juice
dries on the paper, it will become invisible.
You will also need an oven

This hidden
message was
actually a
secret map!

3 With the help of an adult, set the oven to

400°F (200ºC). Place your paper on a baking
sheet and, when the oven is hot enough, use your
4 After half an hour, your invisible markings
should have become visible. With an adult’s
help, use the oven mitt to remove the sheet from the
oven mitt to put it inside the oven. oven and put it on a heatproof surface to cool down.

Scorch marks make

the paper look old.

5 Once the sheet has

cooled, pick up the
paper—it will feel
brittle. The heat Paper naturally
of the oven dried goes brown with
the paper out, and there age—lemon juice
may be some scorch marks, too, and heat speed
where the paper got extra hot.
up the process.
It is actually the paper, not the
lemon juice, that turns brown.

HOW IT WORKS Citric acid in

the lemon juice
Glucose molecules
take part in a
Water molecules
are released from
Paper is made of a compound called cellulose. weakens the bonds. chemical reaction. the new compound.
Each large molecule of cellulose is made up
of thousands of smaller molecules of glucose
(a type of sugar) that are bonded together.
The citric acid in lemon juice slowly weakens the
bonds between the glucose molecules, freeing
some of them. When the paper is heated to
over 350ºF (170ºC), these free glucose molecules
react together in a chemical process called
caramelization. This produces new compounds Cellulose is made up The oven heats Carmelization results
that have a brown color and makes the ink visible. of glucose molecules. the paper. in a brown color.

Put ice cream in a hot oven and you’d expect it to melt to slush within
a few minutes. Well, that’s not what happens when you make Baked
Alaska, a scrumptious dessert that teaches you a great deal about
the science of heat transfer. And it tastes great, too. It’s not generally
a good idea to eat your experiments… but this one is an exception,
and it’s made for sharing!


Yes, you really can put ice cream in a hot oven, as
long as you surround it with something that does not
allow heat to pass through easily. Materials that do
that are called insulators. In a Baked Alaska, there
are two insulators: whisked egg whites and cake.

The oven-baked ice

cream hasn't melted!

Light, fluffy
meringue is
heat resistant.

The experiment uses

chocolate cake, but you
can choose a different
flavor if you like.

Making this surprising dessert is really straightforward, Hard
but you need to be a cook as well as a scientist. This means
using kitchen equipment, including a hot oven, so get some
help from an adult. You can buy a cake for the base—or Very hot
persuade your helpful adult to make one! Before you start, Time oven! Adult
leave the ice cream out of the freezer for about 20 minutes, 45 minutes plus supervision
to soften. And remember—wash your hands before waiting time recommended
handling food.


Small bowl
Don’t worry
too much about
smoothing out
creases in
Four eggs the plastic wrap.
Oven mitts

Plastic wrap Egg cup

Spoon G la s s m i x
in 1 Line the smaller glass bowl with two layers of
plastic wrap. Make sure you leave plenty of
wrap hanging over the edge of the bowl. You'll need

this to hold on to later, when you lift the ice cream

you are about to fill the bowl with.
Ice cream

If your ice
cream doesn’t
scoop easily,
Cream of tartar leave it for
Large and small a few more
palette knives minutes.
Electric mixer

e ca k e o n o
lat v

C ho

roof plate

2 cups su
2 Using a spoon, scoop the ice cream into the
g ar

bowl to about two thirds of the way up. Press

it in with the back of the spoon and smooth the
top. Put the bowl in the freezer for at least an hour.
You will also need an oven

Hold on to
the small bowl
firmly throughout
this process.

3 Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230ºC). Then, to

start making the meringue, crack an egg into
the small bowl. If bits of shell fall in, fish them
4 You make meringue with egg whites only. To
separate the yolk, place the egg cup over it
and pour the white into the mixing bowl. Do the same
out—but don’t break the yolk! with the other three eggs. Discard the four yolks.

Don’t use the mixer with

wet hands, and unplug it
when you’ve finished.

6 Now gradually add the

sugar to the egg whites
and begin beating again.

5 Whisk the egg whites on high speed until they

are frothy. If you want help with this, ask
an adult. Then add ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar.
Keep going until the
mixture looks shiny
and stiff. Then stop
Keep beating, but stop to test the mixture every and ask an adult to
few seconds. It’s ready when it forms stiff peaks. help you remove the
beaters and clean them.

The mixture
should stay in
peaks when
you lift up
the beaters.

7 Take the ice cream out of the freezer. Lift it

out of its bowl by gently pulling the plastic wrap.
Turn it upside down on top of the cake, ensuring it
doesn't overlap the edge. Peel away the plastic wrap.

Cover every
part of the
ice cream and
cake with the
meringue mixture,
leaving no gaps.

8 This is where you have to be extra quick and

careful! With the help of an adult, use the
spatula to spread the meringue all over the ice
9 Your Baked Alaska is ready to come out of the
oven and it looks wonderful. The plate will be
very hot, so use oven mitts (and maybe some adult
cream and the cake. Then, using oven mitts, help) to lift out the plate and put it on a heat-
put the plate into the hot oven and cook if for resistant surface. Now, here's the hard part—let your
three minutes—or until the outside browns. dessert stand for a minute or so before serving it!

The meringue is
very hot when
it's taken out
of the oven.
The ice cream
is still cold! TAKE IT FURTHER
Try making mini Baked Alaskas, using
cookies instead of cake. Since cookies
are thinner than cake, and you will probably
apply a thinner layer of beaten egg whites,
the ice cream will be less well insulated
against the hot air inside the oven. However,
it will take less time to cook the egg whites,
so you can reduce the amount of time
you cook the dessert—and hopefully,
your ice cream will still not have melted.

The cake slowed

down the heat

10 This is the moment you’ve been waiting for!

Cut open the Baked Alaska. You should
find that, amazingly, the ice cream is still solid
transfer from
the hot plate
to the ice cream.
and cold—despite having been in a very hot oven.
There’s too much for one person to eat, so why
not invite friends and family to share the treat?

Egg white is mostly water, with a little sugar dissolved in it, plus long
molecules of protein (mostly one called albumin). In their natural state, This dessert
albumin molecules are coiled up. But when you whisk egg whites, the is named after
molecules uncoil. These then join together, trapping tiny pockets of air the American
in between them. Air is a good heat insulator, which means that heat state of Alaska,
passes through it very slowly. So, while the surface of your Baked
where it gets
Alaska cooks quickly, the heat takes much longer to pass right
through the trapped air to the ice cream. very cold.

A stiff foam
Air bubbles is created.
are formed.

The long molecules
molecules start to
Egg white is 90 percent water of albumin Beating egg whites unwinds link up. The albumin molecules join up,
and 10 percent protein. It’s are coiled up. the albumin molecules and trapping the air bubbles. When
the proteins that make egg introduces millions of tiny the foam is cooked, it hardens
white gloopy. air bubbles. and browns—it's a meringue!


Body heat warms the air inside an igloo, and the snow slows down heat
loss. Igloos, now used mostly by explorers and mountaineers, can save
lives in snowstorms.

Thick walls trap the

Vents let heat rising from
in fresh air. the person, making
it warm inside.
Walls are made of
compacted snow.

The entrance is low

Like beaten egg whites, snow contains lots
down where the
of trapped air, and is a very good insulator. air is very cold.
That’s why people can stay warm in an igloo,
a shelter made from bricks of snow and
traditionally built by communities living in
northern Canada, Alaska, and Greenland.

Something big is happening in the kitchen. If you like marshmallows, you’ll love
this experiment because it turns those delicious gooey sweets into jumbo-sized
treats. Before your very eyes, they will puff up like bread or cakes rising in the
oven—but much, much faster. All it takes is a microwave oven and about half
a minute. The results are so good you might just want to do the experiment
again and again. Buy a bag of marshmallows and prepare to be astonished!

Sweets are allowed

in the lab for this

Get a range of
colors, if you can.


There’s nothing spooky about these monster
marshmallows. The reason they puff up, or
expand, is because they contain lots of air. If
you keep repeating the experiment, don't forget
that every time a marshmallow comes out of
swell up incredibly the microwave it will be extremely hot and sticky.
fast when heated.

The plate turns

in the microwave
so the marshmallow
is heated evenly.

3 minutes

This experiment is really quick, simple, and fun. You just need a microwave
oven, some marshmallows, and a microwave-safe plate. Don’t heat the
marshmallows for too long—they will turn brown, and may not taste Difficulty
nice. Before eating your sticky treat, let the marshmallows stand for Easy
a minute or so after you take them out of the microwave. They will be Warning
very hot and could scald your mouth. You may need an
adult's permission
to use a microwave


Marshmallows on
1 Place a marshmallow on the plate,
and put the plate in the microwave.
Microwaves are a form of invisible
2 Close the microwave door, set the
timer for 30 seconds, and press
“start.” The powerful rays produced by
a microwave-safe plate radiation that can heat certain things, the microwave bounce around and hit the
like marshmallows, very quickly. marshmallow, which absorbs their energy.
You will also need
a microwave oven

3 Stand back and watch carefully

through the microwave door. After
about 15 seconds, your marshmallow
4 When the time is up, remove the
plate carefully—the marshmallow
will be hot! Repeat the experiment for one
should begin to increase in size! minute: what do you think will happen?

TAKE IT FURTHER A marshmallow has a foamy, squashy texture because it has thousands
Try this quick and sticky test. Be careful— of tiny air pockets inside it. Gases, such as air, are made of molecules
the marshmallows can get very hot. You moving freely at high speed and bouncing off any surfaces they meet.
may want an adult to help out, just in case. As they bounce, the molecules put pressure on the surfaces. Heating
a gas causes the molecules to move faster, which increases the pressure.
When you heat a marshmallow, each tiny air pocket blows up like a balloon.

As the air heats up, the

pressure it exerts increases
and the pockets grow bigger.

A marshmallow
1 Grab a handful of mini marshmallows
and assemble a little pyramid on
a microwave-safe plate. Take some time
contains lots of
tiny air pockets.
perfecting your structure.

The marshmallows
expand quickly, taking
up most of the plate!

The air bubbles inside an Very quickly, the air inside expands,
uncooked marshmallow pushing against the marshmallow's
are small and stable. soft, sugary walls.

2 Set the microwave timer for a 30 second

blast. Watch the marshmallows combine
with each other, as they slump into a bubbling,
pillowy mass.
A thickener called gelatin that is
inside a marshmallow melts at
Before your very eyes, a temperature just below that
the marshmallows will of the human body: 98.6ºF (37ºC).
flatten to almost nothing.
That is why marshmallows “melt
in your mouth.” The low melting
temperature is important in
your experiment because
marshmallows become soft
as they heat up, which makes

3 Okay, are you ready to see something

cool? Set the microwave timer for
another 30 seconds. What have you got
it easier for them to expand. Another sweet that melts in the mouth is
chocolate. The makers of chocolate carefully adjust their recipes to ensure
that their products spread easily across your tongue.
now? A plate of very sticky, hot liquid!

Would you believe that you can actually grow your own
lollipops? In this fun experiment, you will make colorful
treats that not only look beautiful, but also taste delicious.
These lollipops form as trillions of tiny sugar molecules
stick together and grow into glittering crystals.
They can sometimes take a week to get
big enough to eat, but it’s worth the wait.

Eating too much sugar is bad for our
health and can damage your teeth,
but it’s fine to have a treat every now
and then. These lollipops are flavored
naturally with a tang of lemon. You can
also color them using food coloring
made with natural ingredients.
Large sugar
crystals take at
least several
days to grow.

A wooden skewer
makes a great
lollipop stick.
Use different food
colorings to really
give your lollipops
a sparkle.

20 minutes plus up to
a week for growth
This experiment isn’t complicated, but it requires some patience because
your lollipops will take at least a few days to “grow.” You’ll need to handle
a pan of nearly boiling syrupy solution, so find an adult who can help you Difficulty
before you start. If you find measuring the ingredients a bit tricky, you can Medium
ask an adult to help you with this part, too. You should be able to make Warning
several lolllipops from one batch of solution. An adult is vital, since this
experiment includes
a stove and hot water

Be careful with
s u g ar

this pour and

you'll avoid making
Narrow glass a big mess!
(one per lollipop)

paper towel The burners on

the stove get
hot, so get a
Food responsible adult
coloring to help you.
Wooden skewer

Spatula 1 Your amazing crystals will grow out of

a strong sugar solution. So you first
need to mix lots of sugar into some water.
Clothespin Put the saucepan filled with 1 cup of water
onto the stove and add 4 cups of the sugar.
With the help of an adult, turn the stove
Saucepan filled to high.
with 1 cup of
cold water

You will also

need a stove

2 As the water gets hotter, use your

spatula to gently stir the mixture,
but watch out for hot splashes! If you
3 Heat the sugary water for around
three minutes. You want the water
to be very hot, but not boiling; if bubbles
4 While your solution cools down, add
some food coloring to it. Around
10 drops is enough, so drip it in slowly
are nervous, ask an adult to help with rise to the water’s surface, turn the heat and carefully. Slice the lemon in half
this part. Soon the sugar will begin to down. After a few minutes, you should and squeeze a little of the juice into the
disappear, but keep stirring. have a syrupy liquid. Turn off the heat. mixture, to add a zingy flavor. Stir again.

You can
make several
lollipops with
this amount
of liquid.

The sugar granules provide

a perfect surface for the
crystals to grow on.

5 Meanwhile, wet one half of a

wooden skewer with water,
then plunge it into the remaining
6 After 10 minutes, the solution
should be cool enough to pour
into your glass. Wait longer if you’re
sugar. This leaves a coating of sugar not sure, because very hot liquid could
granules clinging to the skewer that crack the glass. If you want to make
will help your crystals to grow. You will more than one lollipop, add small
need one skewer for every lollipop. amounts of solution to more glasses.

7 Put the skewer into the solution,

sugary end first, and hold it in place
with a clothespin. Don’t let the skewer
8 Your solution should stay fresh for a
while, as bacteria and other nasties
are unlikely to survive in such a sugary
9 Leave your glass for several days in
a safe place. Check each day to see
how the sugar crystals are growing. If a
touch the bottom. Almost at once, sugar liquid. But to keep out dust or insects, you sugar crust grows on top of the solution,
molecules from the solution will begin can cover the glass with a piece of paper gently break this and remove it—this
sticking to the sugar granules. towel pushed down over the skewer. will help the lollipop to continue growing.

10 Once your lollipop is large enough, remove

the skewer from the solution. Let the
stick dry—and then enjoy the taste of your own
Instead of edible treats, you can also
sugar crystal lollipop. Of course, you could always make exciting deocrations using this
wrap it and give it as a gift. Keep your fully formed same sugar-water solution, but without
lollipops covered or
in the fridge, so any food coloring. Colorful pipe cleaners
they stay fresh. have a furry texture that is a good
surface for crystals to form on, and
they can be bent into fun shapes!

c ryst
Each granule of sugar is a tiny crystal made of trillions of sugar cli

molecules held together in a regular pattern. When you mix

r ms
sugar with water, the sugar molecules break apart to mix

Sugar fo
among the water molecules, forming a solution. There is a high
concentration of sugar molecules in the strong solution you made
for this experiment. The concentration increases gradually, as
the water evaporates from the surface of the solution. All of the
molecules in the solution are slowly moving around, and when
the sugar molecules collide with the sugar granules coating the
skewer, they may stick. As more and more stick, the crystals
grow—and so does your lollipop.

Pin Wooden skewer

The way molecules join together determines the
shape of the crystals. The shape of crystals that
As water evaporates make up your lollipop is described as “monoclinic,”
(changes from liquid where each crystal has three unequal sides.
into vapor) from
the surface, the
solution becomes
more concentrated HOARFROST
with sugar.

Sugar molecules
(squares) mix with the
water molecules (dots),
but, over time, the
sugar molecules collide In the same way that sugar molecules mixed with
with the sugar granules water molecules in this experiment, so too do water
on the wooden skewer.
As it grows, the lollipop molecules mix with oxygen molecules in air. In cold
will have hundreds of weather, water molecules may join up, forming an icy
individual crystals. coating called hoarfrost, which clings to surfaces.

Did you know that you can make a battery using lemons? With just
five lemons, some coins, screws, and copper wire, you can make an
electric current flow around a circuit with enough energy to illuminate
a small lamp called a light emitting diode (LED). Now just imagine
what you could power with one hundred lemons!

Coins are coated

with a metal
called copper.

Screws are
coated with a
metal called zinc.


One lemon with a coin and a screw in it is one “cell.” A single
Copper wire has cell produces some electricity, but not with enough energy to
metal inside and light an LED. Energy is measured in volts (V), and a single
connects the coins lemon cell produces about 0.8V. To produce a high enough
with the screws.
voltage to light the LED, you need to join five lemon cells
together. Multiple cells joined together are called a battery.

LEDs are found

in all sorts of
electronic equipment.

Ask an adult to help you get what you need. The
screws must be galvanized, which means coated Warning
Get an
with zinc. LEDs and copper wire with clips can adult's help
be found in craft or electronics stores. While this Time Difficulty when using the
experiment is safe, do remember that electricity 15 minutes Medium sharp knife
can be dangerous. And discard the lemons when you
have finished the experiment—don't use them for food.


1 With an adult’s help, use the knife to make

a cut in a lemon, about 1/2in (1cm) from the
center, and roughly 3/4in (2cm) deep. Now push
a coin firmly into the slit you have created.
Do the same with the other four lemons.

Six short electrical wires with

clips at each end
Five lemons

Five copper coins

Sharp knife 2 About 1/2in (1cm) from the center of the

first lemon—on the other side to the coin—
insert a galvanized screw. Twist it in, clockwise,
to secure it in the lemon’s flesh. Now repeat
with the other four lemons, then arrange
Five galvanized LEDs (at least the lemons in a circle.
screws one color)

The wires from

the first and
last lemons both
have one end

3 Squeeze the clip on one wire so that it opens,

like a crocodile’s jaws. Place it around the screw
in one lemon, so it grips it. Connect the other clip to
4 Connect all the lemons—coin to screw—as
in step 3. For the last lemon, attach a wire to
its coin, but don’t connect it to the screw in your first
the coin in another lemon. lemon. Instead, attach another wire to that screw.

If the light from

the LED is weak,
try pushing in
or wiggling the
screws and coins.

5 Each LED has two legs, which are slightly

different lengths. With the free end of the
wire that is attached to the coin, fix the clip to
6 Now connect the clip of the other free wire
that is connected to the screw to the other,
shorter leg of the LED. This now completes
the slightly longer leg of the LED. the circuit to make the LED light up.

The LED lights up when

HOW IT WORKS Electrons move electricity flows through it
The electric current that lights your LED is through the wires. and the circuit is complete.
actually caused by countless tiny particles
called electrons moving around the circuit.
Electrons are present inside every atom.
As the zinc dissolves in the lemon juice,
two electrons are released from each atom
of zinc (from the screw). All electrons are
negatively charged, and they push apart as
they move inside the wire. When they reach
the copper coin, they take part in another Each lemon
has a positive
chemical reaction, allowing electrons to and negative
continue flowing around the circuit. terminal.
It’s amazing what experiments you can carry out with everyday items like
paper, rubber bands, and balloons. As you'll see in this exciting chapter, you
don't need any special materials to understand the structure of DNA or to
find out about the planets in our solar system. There are also experiments
with paper planes and static electricity. You'll find most of your equipment
somewhere at home—perhaps on your desk or even in the trash can!

This twisting multicolored ladder is a model of a very important
part of your body—but it’s about 10 million times bigger than the
real thing! DNA is a tiny molecule with a long name: the initials stand
for deoxyribonucleic acid. It is found in all living things on Earth. Every
one of the trillions of cells that make up you contains a DNA
molecule. Each molecule is a mini database, packed with
instructions telling your body how to work properly.
You can make an extraordinary DNA model with
ordinary items, such as paper, scissors, and
colored highlighters. So let’s get snipping!

DNA doesn’t really come in wacky
fluorescent shades, but using these
colors makes everything easier to
understand. The instructions on
Choose fluorescent
the following pages tell you how to colors for a really
arrange the different colors in your striking effect!
DNA model. It’s easy and a lot of fun.

A snazzy DNA
spiral would look
good decorating
your bedroom.

Use tape to fix

the rungs of the
ladder in place.

Your finished model of DNA will have a shape like a twisted
rope ladder—just like real DNA. It’s important to use four
different colors when you make the “rungs” of the ladder,
because each color represents one of four different
chemicals. You use tape for the “ropes” at the sides of Time Difficulty
1 hour Medium
the ladder, which in real DNA are also types of chemicals.


Highlighter pens in four different colors

1 With a pencil and ruler, mark the paper into

about 30 strips, each 1/2in (1cm) wide and
1¼in (3cm) long. Cut out the strips with scissors.
These are the rungs of the ladder and each one
represents a pair of chemicals known as bases.

Colored tape

White paper
2 Take each strip and pinch a crease halfway
along its length. The crease marks the dividing
line between two bases. In real DNA, the two bases
in each rung are held together by a chemical bond.

3 Now color your paper rungs on both sides.

One half should be one color, the other half
another. The colors should always be in pairs—
4 Now cut two strips of tape about 28in (70cm)
long. Lay the strips face up next to each other,
with a gap of ¾in (2cm) between them. Stick down
for example, yellow always goes with orange. the ends with small pieces of the same tape.

Hold and twist

the ladder
very carefully.

Everybody’s DNA
is different, so
The paired spiral
there is no right or
shape of DNA is
wrong combination.
called a double helix.

5 Press the colored rungs, in any order, onto

the two lengths of tape, leaving a gap of
about 1/2in (1cm) between them. When you’ve used
6 There’s just one more thing to do to make your
model perfect: you have to twist the ladder into
a spiral shape that’s just like DNA itself. Do this very
up all the rungs, carefully fold both lengths of gently to get the twist right, turning the end nearest
sticky tape over them to hold them in place. to you in a counterclockwise direction.


The bases in DNA—as represented in the model DNA SEQUENCE
you created—are a code of instructions for how to Using special equipment,
make proteins. These are large, complex molecules scientists can determine
required for the structure, function, and regulation of what they call a DNA
the body’s tissues and organs. For example, the protein sequence: the exact
keratin makes up your hair and nails. A section of the arrangement of the
DNA ladder that carries a recipe for a particular protein bases along the length
is called a gene. Your entire DNA code consists of about of a DNA molecule. This
20,000 genes. Together, your full set of genes is called means samples can be
a genome. No one else has exactly the same genome used to identify people
as you—unless you have an identical twin. or to spot genes that
can cause diseases.


The three planes that you will create each behave
differently from one another because of the
way the air moves around them as they fly.
Try out various ways of launching your planes—
upward, downward, harder, and softer—and
experiment by changing the shapes of the wings.

The Super Stunt

Plane can do tricks!

The Graceful Glider

is designed to stay in
the air for a long time.

The Dashing Dart is

designed for speed
and distance.

Drop a piece of paper and it will tumble to the ground, as
air escapes chaotically around the flapping sides. With a few
folds, a few cuts, and a little know-how, you can make that
piece of paper dash along at high speed, glide gracefully,
or make impressive maneuvers as it flies through the air.
In this experiment, you’ll be testing out aerodynamics—the
interaction between the air and objects moving through
it. Let’s get ready for takeoff!


PAPER Built for speed, this simple, streamlined plane zips
through the air. When you’ve made it, throw it at

a slight upward angle—and watch it fly!

These three paper planes—an easy, a medium,

and a hard one—are fun to make, but follow
the instructions carefully for good results. All
Time Difficulty
you really need is paper, but one of the designs 5 minutes Easy
requires a ruler, scissors, and tape. Be careful,
though, as the Dashing Dart has a sharp nose,
so don’t throw it toward anyone’s face.


1 Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise as

accurately as you can. Make a crease with
a fingernail or ruler, then unfold the paper again.
Letter-size paper



2 Fold down two corners so they meet at the



center line. Leave a small gap between them,

otherwise it will be difficult to fold the paper again.

The two folds

should look the
same on both sides
of the center line.

Leave a couple of
inches unfolded on
each wing.

3 Now fold down one edge toward the center

line. Again, don’t fold it right onto the center line,
as you will soon have to fold the paper lengthwise.
4 Do the same with the other edge, making sure
the folds are symmetrical and meet close to
the line. Check that all your folds are creased.

Make sure your

Make sure one side fold is horizontal
does not rise higher and crease it
than the other. down as before.

5 Now fold the paper in half lengthwise, with

the folded sections on the inside. The two sides
should match up perfectly. Crease all the folds firmly.
6 Fold down one side, making the fold parallel with
the bottom of the plane and about halfway up
the back, or tail. Now do the same to the other side.

Push the wings into

a slightly upward angle
for stability in flight.
The wings should
be symmetrical.

You can add

a piece of tape
between the
top edges,
if you like.

7 Nearly there! Fold up the corners—these will

push air upward as the plane flies, and that
will nudge the tail down and the nose up.
You can use a clip
as a display stand.

Launch this plane gently—only slightly above
horizontal—and it should glide through the air,
staying aloft for longer than the Dashing Dart.
But be patient, it’s a little tricky to make.

10 minutes
Medium 1 Start by carefully folding a piece of paper
in half lengthwise. Make a crease with a
fingernail or ruler, then unfold the paper again.

This area should

be the same shape
on either side of
the center line.

2 Fold in both edges, so that each corner of

what will be the front touches the center
line. Both folds should meet at the back corners.
3 Fold down about ½in (1cm) of the tapered end
of the paper. This will be the nose of the
glider. Crease down the fold firmly.

The plane will

be noticeably
shorter now,
but that will
help it glide.

4 Repeat step 3 six times, each fold over the

last. The folded edges of what will be the wings
will buckle, so keep pushing them under the folds.
5 Now carefully fold the plane in half, making it
as symmetrical as you can. Crease the fold
well, especially around the bulky nose of the plane.

Tuck any ruffled

up pieces under
the fold as best
as you can.

Try to make this

line straight.

6 Fold down one side, about ¾in (2cm) from

the bottom. Once again, crease the fold well,
especially at the nose, where the paper is chunky.
7 Do the same to other side, and make sure
all of your folds are creased and that the
glider is symmetrical. You now have two wings.

Make these flaps

Experts launch
look the same paper planes that
on both wings. stay airborne
indoors for
30 seconds!

8 Finally, fold along the edges of the wings,

making the edges parallel with the center line.
Crease and lift them up, so they stand up vertically.

After each launch, you

may need to adjust
these flaps, so they
remain vertical. Use a small piece of
tape to hold the two
sides of the glider
together, if you like.

These folds add

weight to the nose,
keeping the plane
balanced in flight.
Use a clip to stand
up the glider on
display when you
are not using it.


This plane has two flaps and a rudder. By changing
the positions of these control surfaces, you can
make the plane twist, climb, dive, and even loop-the-loop.

15 minutes
1 Begin by simply folding a piece of paper in half
lengthwise. Make a crease with a fingernail
or ruler, then unfold the paper again.

2 Fold one corner and make a firm crease. Then

fold the sharply pointed corner, so you end up
with a triangle. Tape around the open diagonal edge.
3 Fold back the point of the triangle, so that it
meets the long base of the triangle. Now fold
the paper around the center fold and crease it.

Take this
opportunity to
crease all of
the other folds.

The plane should

be symmetrical
on both sides of
the center fold.

4 For the wings, fold down one side, about ¾in

(2cm) from the center fold. Do the same with
the other side, and unfold both so that they lie flat.
5 Turn over the plane and fold down the edge of
each wing ½in (1cm) in from the edge. Lift up
both edges, so they sit at right angles to the surface.

Pinch the tail fin

Flying objects experience four types of force: gravity, lift,
at the top,
to ensure a thrust, and drag. The Dashing Dart speeds through the
smooth crease. air because air passes around its streamlined shape easily
without exerting much drag. The Graceful Glider experiences
lots of lift because its wings have a large area—so it stays
in the air for longer. The control surfaces at the back of
the Super Stunt Plane change the airflow, creating lift
forces that can act sideways or even downward, allowing

6 Cut from the center fold up to the base of

the wings—about 1in (2.5cm) in from the back
of the plane—then push it up. This is the tail fin.
the plane to change direction, or even spin.

Air flowing over

the top and bottom
of the wings can
create an upward
force called lift, When the plane
pushing up the plane. is launched, a
Try to make force called
both slits on thrust pushes
either side it forward.
of the tail fin
the same size.

As the plane
7 Crease the tail fin so it stands up, taping the
wings to keep it closed. Cut slits into the trailing
edge of each wing and fold up the resulting flaps.
moves, the air
around it exerts
a force called
drag, slowing
it down. Gravity is the force
that pulls the plane
downward—as it
Bending the tail fin does to any object.
to the left or right
will make the plane Folding one flap
turn in the air. up and the other REAL WORLD SCIENCE
down will make
the plane twist
as it flies. In the right conditions, with
warm air rising up from the
ground, a hang glider can
stay up for hours. The rising
air, called a thermal, pushes
The folds along up on the underside of the
the wing edges
give the plane
wings, providing lift. To steer,
stability in flight. the pilot shifts his or her
body to tilt the glider.

Do you love listening to music on a phone but find it doesn’t sound as good as you’d
like it to? Maybe your family grumbles every time you play your favorite songs really
loud? These terrific smartphone speakers could be the answer to both problems.
They not only help to get rid of that “tinny” effect, but also direct most of
the sound straight to your ears. So your music sounds bigger and
better without annoying everyone else in the room.

These brilliant
You can change the
speakers are made
colors of your speakers
from everyday
as often as you like.
household items.


Portable mobile phone speakers painted in funky colors look
great sitting on your desk or bedside table. They don’t even
need batteries or recharging. So what are you waiting for?
Make some speakers and get a playlist going! But remember,
never put the speakers right next to your ears with music
at full blast. This could damage your hearing.

Built-in mini
are usually located
at the bottom
of a phone.

20 minutes plus time
for paint to dry
It’s really easy to make these impressive speakers. Just find a cardboard tube
and some paper cups, and you’re almost there. You will also need scissors to cut
some materials, so ask an adult if you need a hand with this part. When you’re
done, your new speakers will make your music louder and clearer—and, best Difficulty
of all, they won’t cost you any of your allowance!



Mobile phone
Two paper cups
1 With the felt-tipped pen, trace around the end
of your phone, halfway along the cardboard
tube. Cut along one long side and the two short
sides of the rectangle to make a flap. Open up
the flap to make a slot.
Cardboard tube

Paper towels

Felt-tipped pen

Scissors 2 Place the end of the tube against the side of

one of the paper cups, close to the lip. Hold the
tube steady and draw around it with your pen. Cut out
the circle you have drawn. Repeat with the other cup.

Sounds from the mobile phone come out of tiny loudspeakers
that vibrate and disturb the air, sending sound waves spreading
in all directions. When you put your phone inside your speakers,
the sound waves bounce off the insides of the tube and the
cups. So nearly all the sound is sent forward, toward your ears.
The crumpled paper stops some of the higher-pitched sounds
from getting through, but not the lower-pitched ones. This
creates a clearer and warmer sound.

3 Now, tear off two sheets of the paper towel

and loosely scrunch them up. Push one
crumpled paper towel into each end of the tube.
The phone’s
The paper absorbs some of the high-pitched sounds vibrate and make
coming from the tube, so music sounds less tinny. sound waves.

Sound waves bounce

Sound waves spread off the tube walls.
out from each cup.

4 Push one end of the tube a little way into

the hole you cut in one of the cups. You may
need to use a small amount of force to secure it
on. Then fit the other end of the tube into the
second cup. You’ve nearly finished your speakers!

5 The only thing left to do is to paint your

speakers in any colors you like. When
the paint is dry, pop a phone into the slot, with
its loudspeakers inside the tube.
Then, sit back and enjoy the music!

At a concert, powerful speakers sit on either side of the stage.

Inside each speaker is a cone of paper that vibrates, driven
by electrical signals from the equipment—such as an electric
guitar—on stage. This produces sound waves that spread
out in all directions. Some waves bounce off the back of
the speakers and then forward to the audience.

We live on a planet, Earth, that orbits the star we call the sun. Seven
other planets—some bigger and some smaller than Earth—also travel
around the sun. The four planets closest to the sun, including Earth,
are all rocky. The other four, much farther away, are made mostly
Mars is covered
of gas. All these planets, the sun, and lots of smaller objects, such as in iron-rich red dust
and that's why it's
moons, are together called the solar system. You can make beautiful called "the red planet."
models of all eight planets, showing their colors and relative sizes,
using just rubber bands and paper.
Our planet's surface is
70 percent water and
that's why it looks
blue from space.

Covered in
craters, rocky

Mercury is the
smallest planet.

You can
use a flashlight
to represent

the sun.

Under a carbon dioxide-


rich atmosphere, Venus

is an oppressively hot

and gloomy planet.


In reality, blue-green
Uranus also has
rings that circle it.

Neptune takes

84 years to

complete one

orbit of the sun!


Saturn is circled

by a stunning
system of rings

made of ice.

By far the largest

planet, 11 Earths

could fit across

Jupiter's face.

No telescope or space travel required! Light up your planets
with a lamp or flashlight and study the solar system in your
own home. However, in reality, the planets rarely line up as you
see them here—normally, they are all at different points of
their orbits around the sun. The planets also spin on their
axes as they orbit, creating night and day on these worlds.

90 minutes

For your model of the solar system, you'll need a lot

of rubber bands in various colors, but you can buy
big bagfuls quite cheaply. You make the planets in Make the paper ball as
order of their distance from the sun, which will help round as you can and
you to remember their names and where they are in scrunch it tightly.
space. The models are not truly to scale, but they do
give you a good idea of the sizes of the real planets
compared to each other.


Yellow rubb een ru b b e

b a n ds

a n ds

ru b be
1 The center of each planet is a tight ball of
scrunched up paper. For the smaller planets,

you’ll use one piece of paper, or part of one piece.

a n ds

For the bigger planets, you’ll scrunch up one

B lu e r u b
White rubb piece of paper, then wrap more pieces around it.
r b a n ds


Yellow cardstock or paper

2 For Mercury, make the paper ball with just
one-quarter of a sheet of paper. Stretch white
rubber bands firmly round the ball. Go on adding
40 pieces of letter-sized paper
bands at different angles until you've hidden the paper.

Make sure you put All the

rubber bands at planets revolve
different angles to
cover the paper around the sun
ball completely. in the same

Earth is the only

known planet to
have living things.

3 Make Venus with one piece of paper and yellow

and red rubber bands. Venus is reddish-brown,
with a rocky surface hidden underneath layers of
4 Here comes our own planet, Earth. It is about
the same size as Venus, so again needs only
one piece of paper. Use lots of blue rubber bands
yellowish-white clouds made of toxic gases. to represent oceans, and some green ones for land.

You could use

brown rubber
bands, too, if
you have some.

5 Now we've reached Mars, which is about half

the size of Earth. Make a paper ball from half
a piece of paper and use red bands. Mars is known
6 Next is the largest planet in the solar system,
Jupiter. Make the ball with six pieces of paper.
Use red, yellow, and white bands to imitate the
as "the Red Planet" due to the red dust that covers it. colorful stripes of Jupiter's dense atmosphere.

8 The rings of Saturn don’t actually

touch the planet, but you’ll need
to make your cardboard ring fit snugly,
or it might fall off.

7 You can make yellow-brown Saturn, the second

largest planet, using five pieces of paper and
yellow rubber bands. Saturn is famous for stunning In reality, Saturn's
rings made of ice and rock. Cut a ring out of yellow rings move at
very high speeds!
card stock or paper to fit around the planet.

9 Farther still from the sun is the planet

Uranus. It is much bigger than Earth, but not
as huge as Jupiter or Saturn. Its thick atmosphere
10 The farthest planet from the sun is
Neptune. It is slightly smaller than
Uranus, so make it with three pieces of paper.
is greenish-blue. Use four pieces of paper and Neptune’s atmosphere—which is mostly methane
green and white rubber bands. gas—looks blue, so use blue rubber bands.

11 Now that you have made models of all the planets,

it’s time to line them all up in order, from Mercury to
Neptune. In a dark room, use a flashlight to represent the sun.
Light takes more than
four hours to reach
Neptune from the sun.

Light from the sun

only lights up half Light from the sun
of each planet. takes eight minutes
to reach Earth.

A great way to display your
planets is to make a mobile
to hang in your bedroom.
You’ll need to make a model
of the sun. In real life, the
sun's diameter is more than
a hundred times that of Earth:
for the mobile make it with 1 To make the mobile, cross over two wire
coat hangers and secure them top and
bottom with fishing wire or tape. Tie about
2 Tie the free end of each length of fishing
wire around the coat hangers, so the sun
and planets all hang down at different heights.
fifteen pieces of paper and
yellow rubber bands. 12in (30cm) of fishing wire around your sun Make sure you put the sun in the center. Ask
and planets, so they are secure. an adult to help you hang your mobile.

If the sun
HOW IT WORKS disappeared, the
planets would move
The planets are huge objects hurtling through space. off in a straight line! Gravity pulls the
Mercury travels the fastest, with an average speed of planet toward
the sun.
more than 105,000 miles (170,000km) per hour! Despite
their high speeds, the planets don’t head straight off
into space. Instead, they follow orbits, pulled toward
the sun by the force of gravity—the same force that
makes you drop back to the ground when you jump in
the air. All space bodies, including planets, move in an
elliptical orbit. Gravity keeps the moon and satellites
in orbit around Earth, too.

An ellipse
is a slightly
flattened circle.
Earth, and Mars
The distances between the
sun and planets are enormous.
For scale, if you were to place Jupiter Neptune
Saturn Uranus
your model Earth at the correct
distance from the flashlight,
they would be 820ft (250
meters) apart! The distances
0.6 1.2 1.9 2.5 3
between planets increases (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
the farther out you go.
In billion miles (km)

Enjoy a never-ending, dizzying display of colors, shapes, and patterns—no batteries needed!
This can be done with a kaleidoscope, a tube that you look down, rather like
peering through a telescope. It has mirrors inside and some colorful
objects at one end. You can make a kaleidoscope from
a cardboard tube, a plastic folder, and a handful
of sparkly beads.

Turn the kaleidoscope

to see the pattern
change—it's never
the same twice!
Just add whatever beads
you can find: the more
colorful they are, the
better the effect.

The beautiful patterns you see when looking down a
kaleidoscope are formed when light passes through
colorful objects at one end and bounces off reflective
surfaces inside. In a store-bought kaleidoscope, the
reflective surfaces are mirrors, but your homemade one
using a plastic sheet will produce a terrific display, too.

A cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels is the perfect size
for your kaleidoscope. Inside the tube, you need three reflective
surfaces—this can be made from a plastic document folder.
However, if you can find it, mirrored paper also works well. When
your kaleidoscope is finished, look through it and point it toward Time Difficulty
30 minutes Hard
a lamp or out of the window. But remember to never point the
tube directly at the sun, because you could damage your eyes.





1 Stand the cardboard tube upright on one of
the pieces of colored paper, and draw around
Colored paper

the end of the tube. Put the tube to one side,

and draw six tabs around the outside edge of
the drawn circle. Cut out the circle with the tabs.
Cardboard tube

Make the hole

about ¼in (0.5cm)
in diameter, and
avoid leaving
Clear plastic folder
frayed edges.


Plastic wrap 2 Place the circle over one end of the tube. Stick
down the tabs with tape. Make a hole in the
center of the circle with the pencil point. Measure the
tube’s length and the diameter (width) of the circle.
Wax paper

3 On the plastic folder, draw a rectangle

as long as the tube and two and a
half times as wide as the tube’s diameter.
4 Cut out the rectangle, then score
along the three inside lines with the
scissors, using the edge of the ruler. Fold
5 Insert your prism into the
cardboard tube, so that it rests
against the paper circle at the end. It
Draw lines to divide the rectangle into three along the scored lines to make a triangular should fit snugly, but if not, use small
equal parts. Draw a narrow tab on one side. prism. Stick down the tab with tape. pieces of tape to secure it in place.

6 Place plastic wrap loosely over the

open end of the tube, and stick it in
place with tape. Now put some colored
7 Cut a circle of wax paper, wider
than the tube. Place it over the
beads, then cut slits in the edge of
8 Decorate the tube, if you like. Now
look through the hole in the paper
circle. Point the tube toward a window or
beads on top of the plastic wrap. the paper and tape it to the tube. light, and turn it around. Enjoy the show!

Light passes
HOW IT WORKS through
At the center of the pattern you produced by the bead.
your kaleidoscope is the bead-filled triangle
at the end of the cardboard tube. You can see
You see the
it directly because some of the light that passes bead and its Light travels
through the beads travels straight through reflection. in straight lines.
the tube. Reflections around the central triangle
are made by light that has reflected off one
Light reflects off
or more of the three shiny surfaces inside the the mirror's surface.
prism. Each surface acts as a mirror, changing
the direction the light travels, and so making it The image of the bead
appear to have come from behind the mirror. appears behind the mirror.

Make a car that speeds along with a few puffs of air. It works
in the same way as a jet airplane or space rocket, as a stream
of fast-moving air escapes from a balloon and shoots out from
the back of the car, pushing it forward. Blow up a balloon
and see how far and fast your car can go. Vrroooom!

Think about what

shape will make your
car faster, so it can
slice through the air.
The stretchy balloon
squashes the air,
maintaining the
pressure inside.

Air escaping
backward is
what makes the
car go forward.


You can make balloon rocket cars with your friends
and race against each other. You could even set
up a course—a straight one, because there’s no
steering—and see if you can get your car to cross
Wheels grip the
road, keeping the finish line first. How do you think you might
the car steady. be able to make your car go faster and further?

30 minutes plus time
for paint to dry
Because the car’s body is made of cardboard you’ll need to be careful
when cutting it out, so it doesn’t bend or crease. Of course, you can
make whatever shape you want—the following instructions show just
one design. But remember, while you are painting your car put down Difficulty
newspaper or find a place where it doesn’t matter if you spill paint! Medium





Two wooden skewers

Do On the larger piece of cardboard, draw the

shape of your car. Leave space below the car

le-sided tap

Three bendy straws body for a row of rectangles, each about ¾in (2cm)
wide. For neatness, you can use a ruler. This row will
e make the tabs for sticking on to the base of the car.
ar d
d bo
C ar

A slightly
smaller piece
Four bottle tops

A larger
2 Use the scissors to cut around the whole shape.
You can cut the lines between the tabs now or
wait until step 11, after you paint the car. If you wait,
piece, about
12 x 8in
be careful not to paint over the tab lines. Later, they
Paint (choose your (30 x 20cm) are going to be folded and attached to the base.
favorite colors)

You may want

to use a ruler to
make sure you
keep the lines of
your base straight.

3 Now it’s time to make the base of the car.

Draw and cut out a rectangle, making the
longer sides the same length as the total length
4 Your car’s wheels are made from the bottle
tops. Push the sharp end of a skewer through
the center of each one. A lump of modeling clay will
of the tabs you drew in step 1. The base needs protect your fingers or the work surface. If you have
to be only about 1¼in (3cm) wide. difficulty, ask an adult to help you.

5 Paint the individual pieces before you assemble

the car. Choose whatever colors you like, but if
you want to create a realistic look, paint both sides
You may need to
use more than of the car body. Put down some newspaper
one coat of paint so you don’t make a mess!
to get the shade
you want.
Only the top side
of the car’s base
needs painting.

You can paint

the wheels, too.

Hold the straw

against the car
base, so you cut it
to the right length.

6 Grab one of your straws and cut it into two

pieces that are the same as the width of
your car’s base. These are to hold the axles in
7 Using masking tape, stick down the straws
on the base. Put each straw around ¾–1¼in
(2–3cm) in from each end, and try to make sure
place, and allow the wheels to turn freely. you stick the straws at 90 degrees to the edge.
Watch your
fingers! The end
of the axle could
be splintery.

Watch out, as
sometimes the
skewer can flip
up as it breaks.

8 Cut two pieces of skewer, each about twice

the length of the straw and with a point at
one end. These are the axles. Of course, be careful
9 Push the point of one axle through one wheel,
from the outside. Then push it right through
the straw. After that, push the axle through the
when using scissors and don’t rush this step. second wheel from the inside.

10 For safety, you

can cut off the
sharp point of the axle.
Now repeat step 9 for The base of a
the other axle and wheel, Formula 1 car
making sure to be careful
is made of light
when pushing the axle
through the wheels. If you but strong
want, you can also add carbon fiber.
some masking tape to the
tip of the axles to keep
the wheels from falling off.

You can use glue

11 Cut the tabs on the car
body, if you have not
already done so. Fold them
instead of tape,
if you prefer.

back on alternate sides, then

add small pieces of double-
sided tape to each tab and
stick them carefully on to
the wheeled base.

Take care when

folding the
tabs—you don’t
want to tear
them off.

Check that the

wheels turn freely
to roll the car’s
base along.

Make sure you

cut the balloon
close to the end.

12 Check that the tabs are spread out

properly and press the body on to the
base. Squeeze the tabs firmly, so they stick well.
13 Cut off the end of the balloon. The power
to make your car move comes from air,
which is supplied by your breath, then stored and
Now you just need a way of making your car go! compressed in the balloon.

Seal the
balloon’s neck
as well as you
can, or the air
will leak out.

14 Put the long ends of two bendy straws

into the neck of the balloon and wrap
some tape around. Make sure you seal the
15 Push the straws down over the back of
your car’s body and secure them with tape.
Bend the short lengths of straw out like exhaust
balloon’s neck tightly, so that no air can escape. pipes. Use more tape to attach them together.

16 Your car is finished!

Hold the neck of the
balloon between a thumb and
Try different car bodies, like an empty plastic bottle, shown here.
forefinger, and blow into the You could have just one straw, to create a better seal so that no
open ends of the straws. air escapes. Now try blowing up the balloon to different sizes.
When the balloon is blown up, Does the car go farther with a larger balloon? Or faster?
pinch your finger and thumb
together to trap the air Pass the straw
inside. Put the car on a flat through a hole
in the side of
surface and… let it go! the bottle.

The bottle’s
mouth holds
the straw
Don’t forget
the wheels!

The size and material of the wheels will impact

on the speed of your car. If you have them, try
larger wheels made of old DVDs or
circles of cardboard. What happens?

Did you choose your

lucky number to paint
on your car?

When you blow up the balloon, the air you breathe out stretches the
rubber. The rubber pushes back on the air, and the air escapes the only
way it can: down the straws and out. When the air meets the bend in
a straw, it bounces and changes direction, so it can escape horizontally.
As the air bounces, it pushes the car forward. The more air passing High air
out through the straws, the greater the force pushing the car. pressure
The stretched
rubber pushes
back on the
air inside
The car moves the balloon.
forward because
the straws expel air.

The escaping air

pushes through
the straw.

The wheels allow Air is released

the car to roll. from the straws.


JET ENGINE AIR RESISTANCE Your car is very thin, so air
resistance is not an issue!
Cars are designed to be
sleek, creating as little
air resistance, or drag, as
possible. As a vehicle moves,
it pushes air out of the way.

In a jet engine, spinning turbine blades

draw in air. Heating and compression
forms hot gas that escapes through
the exhaust nozzle of the aircraft. As Pointed vehicles, such as many sports Square- or rectangular-shaped vehicles,
this gas shoots backward, it pushes cars, slice through air—they are including buses, experience more drag,
the aircraft forward at high speed. streamlined and can move very fast. which slows them down much more.

A single popsicle stick is not very strong, but if you join lots of
popsicle sticks together into a rigid structure, they can support
surprisingly heavy weights. Test this theory by making your
very own bridge using popsicle sticks, glue,
and tape. The secret to its strength is all in
the triangular design. Once you've made this,
you might want to try making longer bridges.
If you do, don’t forget that triangles are
the key to strength.

Connected triangles
give this bridge its
great strength.

A triangle is a rigid shape. Connecting
several triangles together makes them
act as one large and rigid object. When
a collection of pieces joined together
work in this way to act as one, it is called
a truss. You will find trusses in almost
every structure in the world—and they
nearly all have lots of triangles, too.

If you test your

bridge's strength
with bricks or
heavy stones,
be careful that
they don't drop
on your feet!

Paint your mighty

bridge in your
favorite color.

BRIDGE Press the
sticks together,
Take your time making this bridge: the more and leave them
accurately you put the pieces together, and for a minute for
the more time you allow the glue to set, the the glue to dry.
stronger the finished result will be. Put down
some newspaper first, as the glue can get
messy. Also, make sure you have enough
1 Start by making one side of the bridge. First
glue the ends of three popsicle sticks together
to make an equilateral triangle—so all three sides
space to put completed sections of the bridge are the same length, and all three angles are equal.
to one side while you make the other sections.

Time Difficulty You should end

2 hours Hard up with a triangle
on the end of a
line of sticks.

2 Dab glue onto the end of another stick, then

press one corner of the triangle on top. Add two
more sticks in a line, each under the one before it.

Glue together
the ends of the
sticks to form
another triangle.


3 Glue two more sticks into an equilateral

triangle on the next stick in the line. Repeat
twice more to give you four triangles in a line.
70 popsicle sticks Masking tape

Handle the sticks

with care—you
don't want to
bend them.

4 To finish the first side of the bridge, glue

three popsicle sticks across the tops of
the four triangles, from the top corner of one
to the top corner of the next.

It is important to
line up the sticks
You only need a before you glue
small dab of glue. them together.

5 Repeat steps 1 to 4 to make the two sides

of your bridge. Then leave them somewhere
safe while the glue sets.
6 To make the bottom of the bridge, glue the
ends of four popsicle sticks together, forming a
square. Leave them for a minute so the glue can set.

Glue the ends of

the stick onto the
ends of the two
sticks in the line.

7 Glue three sticks in a line, and stick it to one

corner of the square. Glue another line of three
sticks to the other corner. Keep the lines parallel.
8 Make another square by gluing the ends of a
stick to the joins of matching sticks in each line.
Repeat with two more sticks, making four squares.

Grip the corner of

the square firmly
when gluing on
these sticks.

9 The top section of your bridge is made in

the same way, but has only three squares.
So repeat steps 6, 7, and 8 with fewer sticks. Now
10 Glue a stick from the corner of a square to
the middle of the stick on the opposite line.
Glue another stick to the opposite corner of the
it's time to strengthen the squares—with triangles! square to make a triangle. Repeat in each square.

The top section has three

squares, six right-angled
triangles, and three
equilateral triangles.

11 Once you have strengthened both

the top and bottom sections of
the bridge with triangles, leave them
The bottom section somewhere safe so that the glue can
has four squares,
begin to set. When the glue has started
eight right-angled
triangles and four to harden, it will be time to put together
equilateral triangles. all the sections of your bridge.

This is a bit
tricky, and an
extra pair of
hands from
a friend or an
adult will help.

12 Hold the long edge of one side piece at a right

angle to the bottom piece. Tightly wrap masking
tape around the sticks to secure the pieces together.
13 Stick the second side piece to the other side
of the bottom section. The two sides should
be vertical, at right angles to the bottom piece.

14 Attach the top section of your bridge to the side pieces, in the
same way as you joined the side pieces to the bottom section.
Make sure you wrap the masking tape tightly around the sticks.

Your bridge is
now complete,
and should feel
very sturdy.

15 Choose a safe place to test the

strength of your bridge—outside
is best. Pick up your brick (or have an
adult help you) and place it gently on top
of the bridge. What happens? If you have
allowed the glue plenty of time to harden,
Add more glue
or masking tape if and stuck on enough tape, then hopefully
you're worried it's your bridge can carry the weight of one
not sturdy enough. brick. If you have more bricks, add them
on very slowly and one at a time.


When you place a brick on top of your bridge, it pushes down and squashes the CITY SHAPES
sticks in the sides of the bridge. Any solid object that is squashed is said to be
"in compression." However, those sticks would move apart if they were not held
firmly by the sticks along the bottom of each side. Those sticks are stretched,
or "in tension," and support the sticks that are squashed.

The weight of the brick

pushes down on the bridge.
The sticks that
are squashed
(red) support There are lots of triangles in the Sydney
the brick.
Harbour Bridge in Australia, and most
bridges. Some materials are better for
building with than others, depending on
how strong they are when they're in
tension and in compression. Using this
The sticks that knowledge, architects and engineers
are stretched (blue) work out what forces a structure
support the sticks can withstand before building begins.
that are squashed.

How would you like to have a new career as a snake charmer and get
a writhing serpent to jump up and down and dance as if by magic? You'll
have to make use of an invisible force called static electricity. You can
create this force with nothing more complicated than tissue paper and
a balloon. And, as you’ll see, static electricity can do other strange things
besides taming paper snakes. It can even bend a stream of water!

Your dancing
snake responds
to a very safe
type of electricity.

When you put your tissue snake on a table or in
the bottom of a basket, its head will normally lie
flat. Even light material like this is pulled down
It could almost be
by the force of gravity. To lift it up, there must
alive! The balloon
gives the snake's be another force acting on it—one that pulls
head a charge of the snake’s head upward, against gravity. That is
static electricity and the force of attraction between electric charges.
makes it rear up.

For a real snake-

charmer effect,
you can put your
snake in a basket.

15 minutes

You need a steady hand to draw and cut out your

snake, but otherwise this experiment is as easy as
blowing up a balloon! Once you’ve discovered what
static electricity can do to a tissue snake, you can
try other things, too. The tiny electric charge involved
in the experiment is completely safe. However, you
should never investigate the electricity in power cables
and appliances; it can be very dangerous indeed!

WHAT YOU NEED Don’t press too

hard with the
M pen, otherwise

you might tear


the paper.

1 Unfold the tissue paper, so that it is just one

sheet thick. For best results, use the thinnest
tissue paper you can find. Lay the paper out flat
on a table and put the plate upside down on top.
Draw around the plate with a pen.

Make the
snake’s body
the same
width all the
Large plate or bowl way around.

Tissue paper 2 Now draw a spiral on the paper, to create

an outline of a coiled-up snake. The center
of the spiral will be the head of the snake, while
the tail will be the pointed part around the outside.

Attach the
tongue carefully,
then your snake
is ready!

3 Cut carefully around the circle you drew and

continue along the line of the spiral. As you
go around, your snake will be revealed! Tissue
4 You can decorate the snake, if you like.
Perhaps you could draw on some eyes, or
make a small tongue by coloring in some leftover
paper crumples up very easily, so try not to grip tissue paper with a red pen, then sticking it on.
it too hard with your fingers. Tape the snake’s tail to the table.

The balloon is now

electrically charged.

Try moving

5 Now it's time to generate static electricity. Blow

up the balloon and tie it off. Then rub it quite
hard against something wool, such as a blanket, for
the balloon closer
and farther away
from the snake to
make it dance.
about a minute. If you don’t have anything made of
wool, you can rub the balloon on your hair.

The closer
charged objects
6 Hold the charged balloon
a few inches above the
snake and then slowly bring it
are, the stronger closer. When the balloon is about
the force is 3
⁄4in (2cm) above the snake’s head,
between them. the snake will be attracted to the
balloon, and will rise up toward it.

You can explore the forces of static electricity in many ways—
here are just a few fun ways, using objects you can find around the
home. Charge the balloons by rubbing on hair or wool, as before.


The invisible forces of static electricity can do Make the people dance! You can use a charged
surprising things that seem like magic! See balloon to attract small pieces of paper on a table.
for yourself how static electricity can bend See how close you have to hold the balloon before
water before your very eyes. the paper jumps up and down.

Gravity pulls the

paper pieces down
toward the surface.

1 Turn on a faucet to produce a slow but steady

stream of water. Bring an uncharged balloon
close to the running water. What happens? Nothing!
1 Cut out lots of small pieces of paper. The round
"confetti" made by a hole punch works well, or you
could make fun shapes like these. Lay them on a table.
The closer
the balloon, the
stronger the force
of attraction.

The charge
on the balloon
charges the
paper pieces.

2 Now charge up the balloon and bring it close to

the stream of water. This time the water bends,
attracted by the forces of static electricity.
2 Bring a charged balloon close to the paper pieces.
The pieces will jump up and stick to the balloon.
Some will even fall off and jump up again.

PUSHING BALLOONS Electric charge is carried by tiny particles called protons, which
Hang two uncharged balloons together and nothing carry a positive (+) charge, and electrons, which carry a negative (-)
much happens. Yet, when the balloons are charged charge. Charges exert forces on each other: charges of the same
with static electricity, things start to get a little type push apart, or repel, while opposite charges pull together, or
more interesting. attract. Normally, there are equal numbers of positive and negative
charges everywhere. However, when you rub the balloon on wool
or your hair it picks up extra electrons, giving the balloon an overall
negative charge. This pushes the electrons away in the paper,
making the paper’s edge positively charged. That is why the
paper snake is attracted to the balloon.

The balloon has

more electrons (-)
than protons (+).

Electrons (-) are

pushed away in the
paper, leaving a net
1 Tie string to each of two balloons. Do not charge
them yet, but hold both strings between a finger
and thumb and let the balloons hang down.
positive charge on the
paper snake's head.


The invisible
force of static LIGHTNING STORM
electricity pushes Inside a thundercloud, swirling winds make ice crystals in the
the balloons apart. cloud rub together, which charges them. The base of ths cloud
becomes negatively charged, which is attracted to a positively
charged ground. This can produce lightning, which takes the
shortest route to the ground, often striking trees.

The cloud base is

negatively charged.

2 Charge both balloons evenly, all over their

surfaces. When you dangle them down now,
they stay apart, repelled (pushed) by an invisible force. The ground becomes
Lightning mostly
strikes tall
positively charged. objects, such
as trees.

Before you start this experiment, take a deep breath.
Have you ever stopped to wonder how your body
manages to take big gulps of life-giving air into your
lungs and then breathe it out again? It’s all due to air
pressure, and a very special muscle in your abdomen
called the diaphragm. With a bottle, some balloons,
and several straws—plus a few other odds and ends
you'll find around your home—you can easily make
a model that shows how we breathe.

The two straws represent

tubes called bronchi,
through which air passes
into the balloon lungs.
The plastic bottle
represents your chest
and abdomen.

The two red balloons

represent your lungs.


You need to breathe in order to take in oxygen
from the air. Inside your lungs, oxygen passes
A blue balloon attached to through the walls of tiny blood vessels and into
the bottom of the bottle your blood. The blood carries the oxygen all
represents a muscle around your body, and every one of your cells
called the diaphragm.
uses some of it, producing carbon dioxide as
a waste product. Your blood carries the carbon
dioxide to your lungs, and it moves into the
air inside your lungs, ready to be breathed
out when you exhale.

This is a great way to learn how some vital parts of your
body work. You can construct your model lungs using materials
you can find around the home. The experiment isn’t really that
difficult, but you need to follow the instructions very carefully
if you want your breathing machine to work well—making Time Difficulty
30 minutes Medium
joints airtight is particularly important. Use glue as well as
tape or adhesive putty, if you find this makes things easier.


Two red balloons

(or any color)
Plastic bottle

Blue balloon
(or any color)
1 Cut off the base of the bottle. Keep the cut
nice and straight, since it will help you to make
an airtight seal on the bottom of the bottle later
on. Ask for help if you’re not sure you can do this.
M as k Save the bottle cap—you’re going to need it later.
Colored cardboard

Colored tape

Three straws

2 Cut all three straws to just over 4in (10cm).

One of the straws will represent the trachea,
the name of the breathing tube that joins the back
Adhesive putty Scissors
of your throat to the top of your lungs.

Make sure you

don’t squash
the straw when
you wrap tape
around it.

3 Now cut off the ends of both red balloons.

In your model, the balloons will represent
the lungs. They will take in air and let it out
4 Push the end of one straw about ¾in (2cm)
inside a balloon. Wrap tape firmly around
the balloon, making an airtight joint. Now repeat
again, inflating and deflating inside the bottle with the other balloon and another straw. These
as if breathing in and breathing out. straws represent branching air tubes called bronchi.

This end of the straw

represents the air
passage at the back
of your throat.

5 Cut a slit ¾in (2cm) up the middle of one end

of the third straw—the trachea—so that it
opens up into two equal parts. Do the same at the
Like real lungs,
the balloons will
other end, then turn the straw 90 degrees and cut inflate when
it again, so this end opens into four equal parts. they fill with air.

Make sure
the joints
are airtight.

A person
breathes in and
out about seven
million times
6 Push the two straws (the bronchi)
with the two balloons attached
(the lungs) over the ends of each half
every year. of the two-way split straw (the trachea).
Finally, secure them with masking tape.

Hold the scissors firmly

when pushing and turning
the scissors into the cap.

When you have

positioned the straw,
screw the cap onto
the bottle.

7 Retrieve the bottle cap and cut a hole in the

middle of it, just big enough for a straw to fit.
Keep your fingers clear of the scissors’ point and
8 Now pick up the end of the “trachea straw”
that is split into four. Hold the four flaps
together and push them right through the hole in
don’t jab the table by mistake! To avoid mishaps, the bottle cap. Once the flaps are through the hole,
you can push the cap into a lump of adhesive putty. fold them down to lie against the top of the cap.

Keep the tape

tightly stretched
as you wind it
around the cap.

9 Check that the straw fits snugly in the hole.

Then, using tape, make a tight seal around
the bottle cap to stop air from leaking into the
10 Cut the third balloon just beyond the end of
the neck. This represents a sheet of muscle
called the diaphragm. Hint: if you inflate it before you
bottle through tiny gaps. do the cut, it will be easier to stretch in step 11.

Push the third

balloon firmly
so that all of
the air escapes.

11 Tie off the end of the balloon, as you would

have if you had just blown it up. Stretch it
over the end of the bottle and secure it with tape.
12 Your working model is now complete!
To make it breathe in, pull the end
of the balloon; to breathe out, push it up again.
Make sure the joint is completely airtight. Watch the balloon lungs inflate and deflate.

Breathing is all about pressure. When you pull down on the balloon, you
increase the volume inside the bottle, reducing the air pressure inside.
This makes the air from outside the bottle rush through the straw and
inflate both balloons. When you push the balloon up, you reduce the volume
and increase the pressure inside the bottle, so the air rushes out again.

Air rushes
Two straws in through the
represent the trachea straw.

13 Draw and cut out a net. You don’t have to bronchi, airways
be an artist: the important thing is to cut that branch off
the trachea to
a large hole in the middle figure. At the base of each lung.
the net, cut a tab at one end and a slit at the other.

Two balloons
Pulling down on represent the
the balloon that lungs, which fill
represents the with air coming
diaphragm reduces through the straws.
the air pressure
inside the bottle.


14 Wrap the net around your model, and tuck
the tab into the slit. Add masking tape to
make the tab more secure. Your “breathing” lungs
In this X-ray, you can see the lungs
(black) on either side of the spine (white),
should appear through the middle hole. protected by the ribs (also white). The
diaphragm is the large gray structure
at the bottom.
This head and body
cut out puts the Air in Air out
lungs in context.
Lungs deflate

15 The paper
wraparound head
and body will really help

you explain to others what pulls tight
your model is showing—it
will also look great if you As you breathe in, or inhale, your As you breathe out, or exhale, your
put your model on display. lungs inflate and your diaphragm lungs deflate and your diaphragm
flattens and pushes downward. is pushed upward.
Turn on a faucet in the kitchen or bathroom and you have an instant supply
of one of the most important substances in the universe: water. In this chapter,
you’ll be exploring some of the remarkable properties of water, which we
know can be a liquid, a solid, and a gas. These experiments will help you
to understand about the forces within water and how it behaves with other
substances. Water is awash with science—so dive in!

Make an eye-catching tower in a glass by layering colored liquids one above another.
It looks like a magic trick, but it works because liquids of different densities, such as
oil and water, don’t mix together. In this experiment, the most dense liquids form the
bottom of the tower and the least dense float on top. You’ll find most of the things
you need for your tower in the kitchen pantry. So, let’s get building!

Oil floats at the

top because it is
the least dense
of all the liquids
used in the tower.

A ping-pong ball
has a low density
because it is filled
with air. Drop it in
the tower and see
what happens.

The density of a substance is related to
its mass (how much matter there is) and
its volume (how much space it takes up).
When you’ve made the tower, try another
experiment to test the density of the liquids.
Choose a few small objects, such as the ones
pictured here, and drop them into the tower
to see whether they sink or float. A liquid can
support anything that is less dense than itself.

A small tomato
will sink through
layers of oil, water,
and dishwashing
liquid but float
on top of milk.

You’ll need a steady hand to build this tower in neat layers. Most of the Time
liquids are “water-based,” meaning they are composed of water but with 15 minutes
other substances dissolved in it. The following instructions show you how
to make the layers using a turkey baster, but it’s fine just to pour the
liquids over the back of a spoon. After adding each liquid, remember
to wash the baster or spoon before going on to the next layer. Don’t Difficulty
stir the tower or these liquids will get mixed up.


Water with Veg


le oil

Mi Dishw
lk a
ing l id

Tall, stra
1 The first layer of your tower
is honey. This is the densest
of the liquids. Carefully pour it in
2 Next, put in the milk. Draw
it up with the turkey baster
and gently pour it against the
Ho igh
until it reaches about ¾in (2cm) side of the glass. It will settle

up the glass. Honey is water on top of the honey. Milk is


e d g la s s

with many other substances, water with proteins, sugars,

mostly sugars, dissolved in it. and tiny globules of oil.

For a stunning
Ping-pong ball Cherry Bolt density tower,
tomato add each liquid
slowly and
Turkey baster

Although water molecules crowd closely
together, each one has low mass, so water’s
density is fairly low. When substances
dissolve in water, their molecules sneak in
between the water molecules, increasing
the solution’s density. Oil molecules are
bigger and do not pack together so
tightly, which means it has a low density.

Oil molecules
have wide spaces
between them.
Water molcules
3 Make this layer just as
you did in step 2. Draw
up the dishwashing liquid with
4 You’re now ready to add
the fourth layer, which is
water. You can make this any
are tightly packed.

the baster and trickle it in color you like by adding a molecules mix with
slowly against the side of the few drops of food coloring. water molecules.
glass. Dishwashing liquid is Remember to trickle the liquid
Milk is water,
water with large detergent slowly! Water molecules are sugar, proteins,
molecules dissolved in it. very small and tightly packed. and a little oil.

Honey is water
and dissolved sugar.



Occasionally, tanker ships carrying oil

5 Finally, add vegetable oil,

although olive oil also works.
Interestingly, if you had put the
6 Now gently drop in small
objects, like a bolt, tomato,
and ping-pong ball. The bolt sinks
accidentally spill their contents. This is
bad for sea life, and an oil spill is difficult
to clean up. What makes the task a bit
oil in first instead of last, it would to the bottom because it is denser easier is the fact that oil floats on water.
still have risen to the top because than the honey. The tomato sinks The oil can be scooped up out of the water
it’s the least dense liquid—but until it meets the milk. What or sprayed with detergents, which helps
you would spoil your tower! happens to the ping-pong ball? to dissolve it.

The stream of water has

energy and some is transferred
to the waterwheel’s blades.

The faster the flow,

the faster the
waterwheel turns.

Some of the water's

energy is lost as it
splashes off the
waterwheel's blades.

The waterwheel sits

in a frame made
from a plastic bottle.


A waterwheel is an "energy-transfer device."
Like anything that moves, flowing water
possesses a form of energy called kinetic
energy. Your waterwheel will capture some
of that energy and begin turning. A string
wrapped around the shaft of your waterwheel
can lift a weight. As the weight lifts higher up,
The string coils around it gains potential energy (it has the "potential"
the wooden skewer to fall down again), also called stored energy.
as the weight is raised.

Question: How can you lift a weight just by turning on a faucet or
pouring water from a glass? Answer: With a waterwheel, of course.
Waterwheels have been used to extract energy from flowing water
for many hundreds of years—to grind corn, power machinery, or lift
heavy objects. You can make your own waterwheel from a plastic
bottle, a straw, and a wooden skewer. It’ll create quite a splash!

The waterwheel lifts

a weight made of
adhesive putty.

To make your waterwheel, you have to cut up a plastic bottle:
this can be a little bit tricky, so ask an adult if you need help.
The other thing to watch out for is using a wooden skewer
to make the shaft of the waterwheel. You might want to cut
Time Difficulty
off any sharp points before you begin. And don’t forget that 1 hour Hard
water is wet, so when you're ready to test your waterwheel,
take it outside or place it in a large sink.

Leave enough
Ask an adult for of the bottle’s
WHAT YOU NEED help if you find sides to make
this step difficult. a sturdy frame.




Cup of water
(or just use
a faucet)
1 Cut all the way around the
bottle, about two-thirds of
the way up. Keep the top part,
2 Next, cut out two U-shaped
pieces from the sides of the
bottle, as shown. What you have
Plastic bottle
including the cap, since you'll need now is the frame that will support
it later to make the wheel itself. the waterwheel.



Wooden skewer

3 With the point of the scissors,

carefully make a small hole in one
side of the frame. Then cut a notch in
4 Take the top part of the bottle, and
make six evenly spaced cuts that
end level with each other at the neck.
5 Fold each of the six blades back
on itself and crease the fold.
Try to keep all the folds level, cutting
the opposite side, level with the hole. These flaps will be the blades. a little deeper if you need to.

Don't make the cuts

too long, or the blades If you crease
may tear off. the folds well,
each blade should
have an angle of
about 90 degrees.

6 Cut halfway along the base of each

blade, where it joins the bottleneck.
Then fold each blade in half along its
length and crease it. All six blades
should look
roughly identical.

7 Bend the splayed wheel into a compact flower

shape. This makes the surfaces that will catch
the falling water once you get your wheel working.

8 The blades of the waterwheel have

to fit inside the frame and be able
to turn around easily. To achieve this,
9 Remove the bottle cap and pierce
a hole through it. You have to
push hard, so secure the cap in some
10 Cut the straw so you have a
straight part, about 2in (5cm)
long. Carefully snip one end into four
hold the waterwheel next to the frame adhesive putty—and watch your fingers! sections. Fold the sections down at
and trim the blades to the right length. Screw the cap back onto the wheel. right angles to the straw.

You can snip the sharp

end of the skewer Electrical tape holds Check that the
once it's through the the straw firmly on wheel turns freely.
bottle cap. the skewer.

11 Slide the skewer through the

straw and tape the straw onto
it, about 1½in (3cm) from the end. Then
12 Pack adhesive putty into the
bottle cap to secure the cut
sections at the end of the straw.
13 Push one side of the skewer
through the hole in the base
of the bottle, resting the other side in
push the wooden skewer through the Now try turning the skewer with your the open notch. The bottle cap should
hole in the bottle cap. fingers. The waterwheel should turn, too! not touch the side of the frame.

Adjust the blades What happens if you

if necessary. make the water run
faster or slower?

14 Tape a piece of string near

the end of the skewer without
the straw. Then press a lump of
15 Now comes the fun part! Take your
waterwheel outside or put it in a sink.
Drip water on the wheel from a faucet or a
adhesive putty around the other end measuring glass filled with water. The waterwheel
of the string—this will act as a weight. should turn around and lift the putty.


When you pour the water, it exerts a force on the blades of the HYDROELECTRICITY
waterwheel, making them turn. The shaft exerts a force on
the wooden skewer, turning it. As the skewer turns, it also applies a
force on the attached string, which pulls up the adhesive putty weight.

The turning Running water

blades force possesses
the skewer kinetic energy,
to rotate. or motion.

Flowing water can be used to generate electricity. In

a hydroelectric power station, river water is held back
by a dam, so that it builds up huge pressure and lots
The force of of potential energy. It flows under pressure through
the water turns pipes, turning specially designed waterwheels called
the blades.
turbines. These, then, turn electric generators that
supply many homes and businesses with electricity.
This picture shows the top of the shafts of several
turbines that spin horizontally. The generators are
The weight gains potential inside the round blue part at the top of each turbine.
energy as it is lifted.

Get ready to set sail on the soapy seven seas! Make
a little boat, float it on some water, and then—using
nothing but a dab of dishwashing liquid—send it
whizzing across the surface. The soap doesn’t
really power the boat, but it releases hidden
energy in the water. Hoist anchor and set sail!

This cutout area is where

the dishwashing liquid goes,
acting as a kind of “fuel”
for the boat.

Decorate your
boat with any
type of flag
you choose.

Get together with your friends to make a whole
fleet of boats and have races. You don’t have
to use the same design every time. Branch
out with some experiments of your own and try
different shapes and see which boats move fastest.

Invisible forces
in the water pull
your boat along.

This boat has to be light to zoom along propelled only by
tiny forces in the water. The materials you use weigh almost
nothing and are easy to cut into the right shapes. But if you
don’t want to do the cutting out yourself, ask an adult to help
you. The boat shown here has a very simple design, so you
1 Start by making the hull, or base, of the boat.
Use your scissors to cut out a small square
of white card stock, with each side of the square
can make it very quickly and get sailing immediately. Paint measuring about 1½in (4cm). Cut a point at one
your boat in any color you like. end to make the bow, or front, of the boat.

Time Difficulty
10 minutes Easy


Colored Paintbrush Cut out a ¼in (0.5cm) square notch at the back,
card or stern, of your boat. This is the end where
Two toothpicks you’ll put the dishwashing liquid. If you like, you
t can try out other sizes and shapes for the notch.

White cardstock

Tray with water inside it For the sail, cut out a piece of colored card
and put a toothpick through it. The sail won’t
move your boat, but it looks good. Then paint your
boat with any colors that you like.

This soapy experiment makes use of something called surface
tension—because water molecules cling together, they pull
each other in all directions. This motion pulls tight the surface
of the water, like the skin of a balloon. But when you drop
dishwashing liquid into the water, the bonds behind the boat
weaken, reducing surface tension. As a result, the rest of
the water surface pulls away, dragging the boat along with it.

As soon as you apply the

dishwashing liquid, it quickly
spreads in all directions.

4 When the paint dries completely, it's time

to secure the sail and toothpick to the
boat. Your boat is ready to set sail!

The boat pulls

away because the
Surface tension dishwashing liquid
is due to invisible weakens the bonds
between the water
forces pulling molecules.

5 Float your boat on the water-filled tray—keep

it close to one corner and point it toward the
middle. Dip a toothpick in dishwashing liquid and
water molecules
touch the water’s surface in the square notch.


Have you ever wondered why
you can’t blow bubbles with
just water? It’s because the
surface tension is so strong
you can’t make the water
stretch into a different shape.
Mixing in soap reduces the

6 Watch your boat go! Just keep dipping the

toothpick in the dishwashing liquid and touching
it to the notch. But if the water gets too soapy, you’ll
surface tension enough for
you to blow air inside the
water without the bubble
need to change it or the experiment won’t work. collapsing immediately.

Imagine having to drink from rivers, lakes, or ponds—like lots of people in the world
do—instead of turning on a faucet or opening a bottle to get pure clean water.
You’d have to find a way of removing mud and other unpleasant substances
mixed in the water before quenching your thirst. In this experiment, you’ll
make a simple water-filtering device using a plastic bottle. Watch
dirty water becoming cleaner before your very eyes!

Water that comes straight from natural sources
often carries impurities that can make you ill
if you drink them. You can easily remove leaves,
twigs, and dead bugs floating on the surface.
Yet, mixed up in dirty water there are millions
of smaller particles, some of which carry bacteria Put charcoal into
your filter to help
and viruses that you simply can’t see. How do clean the water.
you get rid of those? The answer is, you have
to make a trap to catch them.

Pieces of clean
gravel help to trap
particles floating
in dirty water.
Dirty water is
filtered through
several layers of
different materials.

The experiment will

produce cleaner water—
but not good enough
for you to drink.

Making a water filter is just the first part of this experiment.
You’ll also be making your own dirty water to test it! The materials
you need are not hard to get, but you might have to ask an adult
to help you look for some of them. Even though the completed
filter does a pretty good job, the water that passes through it Time Difficulty
still won’t be safe enough to drink. So just pour it away afterward. 25 minutes Medium



Cotton balls

Charcoal Scissors

1 First, cut all around the bottle with the

scissors, just above halfway up. If you find
this tricky, ask an adult to do it for you. The top
part is going to be the filter. The bottom part
makes a holder for the top and collects the water.
Leaves and grass
Sand Small, clean pebbles

Small gravel

2 If your bottle has a cap, remove it. Tightly

pack the cotton balls into the mouth of the
bottle. These will trap very small pieces of dirt
floating in the water.
Medium sized gravel Pitcher Plastic bottle

3 Put the top part of the bottle upside down

into the bottom part of the bottle. Add a
layer of charcoal, about ½in (1cm) deep, on top
4 Add sand about ¾in (2cm) deep. Press it hard
with your fingertips to push down the sand
and the charcoal beneath it. These packed layers
of the cotton balls. If your charcoal is in big will slow down water flow and trap lots of dirt.
chunks, crush it first to break it into smaller pieces.

5 Next, add a ½in (1cm) layer of the small

gravel. On top of that, add a ¾in (2cm) layer
of medium-sized gravel. You must pack these two
layers as firmly as you can, just as you did with
the sand and the charcoal.
The more layers you
add, the cleaner your
water will get as
it filters down.

6 Finally, add the small pebbles. Make sure you completely cover
the top of the gravel. See how the gaps between the particles of
each layer have grown bigger and bigger toward the top. Now that your
water filter is ready to put to work, you need to make some dirty water!

7 Fill your pitcher with water and add in as much

of the soil as you like. Stir it all up with a spoon,
so that the soil mixes in thoroughly. The smallest
pieces of soil will be “suspended”—left floating—in
the water, and some parts will dissolve. These objects from
nature won't look pretty
for long, as they get mixed
up in the dirty water.

Soil particles
contain tiny living
organisms, such
as bacteria.

8 Drop in a few leaves and blades of grass.

Your water is now well and truly dirty!
It contains particles of many different sizes
and various dissolved substances. Any of these
things might make you ill if you drank the water.
In a river
or pond, leaves
and grass would
float on top of
the water.

Don’t forget to wash

the pitcher thoroughly
when you’ve finished
your experiment!

9 Slowly pour some dirty water onto the

pebbles at the top of your filter. Hold the
filter steady to make sure it doesn’t topple over.
Watch as the water trickles through the layers,
and emerges much cleaner at the bottom.


The pebbles
catch the largest
Water always finds a path through the pieces particles.
of stone, gravel, sand, charcoal, and cotton balls.
But the gaps, or pores, trap particles that are
suspended in the water. As the pores get smaller
in each layer, particles are trapped throughout Smaller gravel
(red and blue)
the filter, rather than all in one layer, which would traps increasingly
quickly get clogged up. The charcoal removes smaller particles.
some of the dissolved substances from the water,
purifying the water in a process called adsorption.
The small
pores in the
sand trap
many tiny

Remember! Charcoal
Your filtered removes
water is not safe contaminants
dissolved in
to drink, even the water.
if it looks clean. Cotton ball fibers
are packed tightly
together, allowing cleaner
water to drip to the
bottom of the bottle.

REAL WORLD SCIENCE Clean water is sucked

LIFE-SAVING STRAW through the top.

Water is filtered
through the hollow
fiber membrane.

Dirty water is
sucked into
the straw here.

After a disaster like an earthquake or flood, it may

be impossible to find clean water. The LifeStraw is
a filter that allows people to drink directly from The membrane
A fine mesh traps nasty, potentially
any source of water, however dirty. Packed with
removes dirt disease-causing,
thin fibers, the straw's pores trap tiny organisms bacteria and viruses.
and sediments.
that could otherwise cause illness.

Inside many caves, beautiful, glistening crystal structures hang
from the ceilings. They are stalactites—pointed, often huge,
natural objects made from minerals contained in dripping
rainwater. Some of these icicle-shaped formations can
be many thousands of years old! Now you can create
a dark and mysterious cave and watch your own
stalactites grow day by day.

Dark paint brings

a gloomy feel to a
homemade cave. Inside your cave,
a solution drips
off a string, slowly
forming a stalactite.


Most real stalactites form in limestone caves that are made when
underground rivers or rainfall dissolve large spaces in the rock. But
your stalactites will grow perfectly well in a cardboard box—and
you can make them any color you like, too. You won’t beat natural
stalactites for size, though: the world’s biggest are several feet long!

You can create

stalactites in any
color—or add neon
food coloring to
make them glow
under black light!

Don’t throw away the box those new shoes came in because
it will make a great cave. To make a stalactite, you need a white
mineral powder, magnesium sulfate (commonly called Epsom
salt), which most pharmacies stock. It takes at least a week for
a stalactite to form, so be patient. And remember: don’t put Difficulty
15 minutes plus
Epsom salt in your mouth, and wash your hands after touching a week’s wait
it. The mineral isn’t poisonous, but it can upset your stomach.


Two glasses P


c cu p

Str Paintbrush
1 If the box has an attached lid, cut it off. Then
cut out a round hole in the lid—this makes the
cave opening. Now trim the lid, so that it fits snugly

E in the box. Make a note of the side of the box you

C u p o f w ar m

want to be the top of the cave.



Food coloring

Shoe box

2 Next, make a slit in the top of the box, about

/2 in (1cm) wide and 6in (15cm) long, though

this will depend on the size of your box. Soon, you

will make the string dangle through this opening.

3 Paint the box gray to make it look

cavelike. If you want to be really
geological, paint streaks in other colors
4 Mix the food coloring with the
warm water, then pour it into both
glasses. Add Epsom salt to both glasses
5 Cut off the bottom of the plastic
cup to make a shallow bowl. This
will catch drips of liquid, as the setup
to represent minerals in the rocks. and stir until no more salt will dissolve. in the next step shows you.

A stalactite
forms slowly
Wet the whole where the
length of the string liquid drips
before you hang it off the string.
from the glasses.

6 Cut 16in (40cm) of string and put

about 4in (10cm) of each end in
each glass. Place a glass on each end of
7 Leave your setup for
at least a week: the
longer, the better! As the
the box top, with the middle of the string liquid drips off the string,
hanging in a "V" shape through the slit. a stalactite will form.

HOW IT WORKS The string forms

When the Epsom salt dissolves in the a "V" shape, as
water it breaks down into particles called it hangs down.
ions. These mix evenly and invisibly with
the water molecules to make a strong The ions join
together to
solution. The string soaks up the solution form a crystal—
all the way along its length through the growing
Epsom salt is made
thousands of tiny hollow fibers. When up of ions, which stalactite.
the liquid falls off drop by drop, some separate and mix
of the ions in the solution join up, forming with the water.
a solid crystal, while the water drips away. The water
As more ions join together, the crystal grows. forms a drop.

Give your tub the fizz factor with your own fragrant bath fizzies.
This experiment shows an acid-base reaction, where cream
of tartar (an acid) and baking soda (a base) dissolve
in water to produce soothing, gentle bubbles. Get
ready for some serious relaxation.

Your bath fizzy begins

to dissolve in water.

Food coloring in the

bath fizzies brightens
up your bathwater.

When your bath fizzies hit the water,
the chemical reaction that takes place
releases bubbles of carbon dioxide gas.
As the bath fizzies break up, other things
that you put in are released at the same
time. This includes food coloring, olive oil,
and essential oils.

A chemical reaction
releases bubbles of
carbon dioxide.

To prepare your bath fizzies, you need to mix two dry
chemicals—cream of tartar and baking soda—which react
together only once they are immersed in water. Mix them
with olive oil to form a moisturizing layer on your skin, Time Difficulty
a dash of essential oils for a rich fragrance, and food 30 minutes plus Medium
coloring to add some color. two days to dry


Molds (silicone works best)

1 cu p
1 Measure the olive oil and pour it into the large
bowl. The oil helps to bind the ingredients and,

once in the bath, it will moisturize your skin. Add

f tartar

the baking soda, cream of tartar, and a few

drops of essential oils, such as lavender.

Essential oils,
such as lavender
1 ⁄1 3
s ba
king sod

Water in a Two teaspoons

spray bottle olive oil

2 Put at least 15 drops of food coloring into
the bowl: the color becomes paler as the
powders absorb the food coloring. You’ll know this
is happening when tiny drops form on the surface.
Food coloring Tablespoon

Mix the
dry powders
and the wet
together well.

Listen carefully,
and you can hear
the mixture sizzle.

3 Using a tablespoon, begin to stir all of the

ingredients so that everything is well mixed.
At this stage, you will notice that the mixture is
4 Now add a few sprays
of water to the mixture,
which will sizzle as the cream
still quite powdery and that tiny globules of food of tartar dissolves in the
coloring remain—don’t worry, the consistency water and begins reacting
will change when you add water in the next step. with the baking soda.

Push the mixture

into the shape
of a cliff—if it
crumbles, add a
little more water.

Spoon out your

mixture into
each mold.
Fill up each
mold close
to the top.

5 The mixture should look and feel less powdery

now, and be more like wet sand. Push your
spoon into the mixture—if it leaves behind a good
shape without crumbling, you are ready to transfer
the mixture to the molds. If necessary, spray
some more water and mix again until you get
the required consistency.

Put the same amount

in each mold.

Leave your
bath fizzies in
their molds
for two days.

Pack the mixture

firmly down in
the molds.

6 When you’ve filled all of the molds, press

hard on the mixture with your fingers. You
can also use fingers or a spoon to spread out
7 Leave your bath fizzies to dry for at least
two days. As they lose water to air they will
become harder. They won’t dry out completely and
the powder evenly. The idea is to pack the molds fall apart because of the olive oil, which keeps the
down firmly and make them as neat as possible. dry powders locked together.

Peel away the molds

gently to avoid breaking When an
the bath fizzies.
acid and a base
react in water,
it’s called a
Don't worry if a bath neutralization
fizzy looks uneven at the
surface—it won't have any reaction.
effect on how well it works.

8 After a couple of days, gently remove the

bath fizzies from their molds. If you are
using silicone molds, you can use them again
to make another batch—perhaps using
a different color.

9 They are ready—but remember to keep

them away from places where they might get
wet… until it’s time for a bath, of course!

The fizzing of your bath fizzies in water is a sign that a chemical
reaction is taking place. The scientific name for baking soda—a
base—is sodium hydrogen carbonate. It reacts with the acid
potassium bitartrate, or cream of tartar, then breaks down into
three things: sodium (which dissolves in water), hydroxide (which
joins with hydrogen from the acid to make water), and carbon
dioxide gas (which forms bubbles).

The bubbles
of carbon
dioxide float
to the surface.

10 Next time you take a bath, drop in one of

your homemade bath fizzies and enjoy an
invigorating, fizzing sensation. As your bath fizzy
dissolves and gives off a stream of bubbles, the
luxurious moisturizing effect of the olive oil and
the calming scent of the essential oils will relax you.


Do you know someone who loves nothing more than em
C a r b o n d io x

soaking in a bathtub? Fragrant, fizzing, and fun, bath

Food coloring, oil, and
fizzies make the perfect gift. You could even add anything else you put
natural ingredients, like dried lavender—or rose petals, inside the bath fizzies
shown below. If you want, you can also wrap them up. is released into
the water.


Some vitamin tablets contain

1 To make your bath fizzies

extra special, use dried
rose petals—if you can't get
2 Then follow the rest
of the steps shown in
this experiment. When your
a base and an acid that react
together when dropped in
water. The vitamins are
them, other dried flowers will flowery bath fizzies are released into a fizzy drink,
work. Mix in the petals as ready, the rose petals remain
which is much easier to
you stir the dry and wet trapped inside—until they
ingredients together. are released in the bath. swallow than dry tablets.

It would be easy to mistake these multicolored, patterned balls for
precious jewels, mysterious deep-sea creatures, or even alien worlds
from outer space. But, actually, they’re just balls of colored ice.
No two ice balloons look the same because the food coloring that
is added spreads differently through the melted ice of each ball.
Remember: they won’t last forever, so you might want to photograph
your colorful creations before they melt.

Your ice ball is easy

to make: simply put a Sprinkle grains of
water-filled balloon in salt onto your ice ball;
the freezer overnight. wherever salt lands,
the ice will melt.

Colorful streams
of water flow down
the side of the ball.


These beautiful balls are made by freezing water in a balloon.
Sprinkling salt on top of the ice makes sections of ice melt,
creating rivulets of water that run down the sphere's sides.
Add food coloring to the mixture and watch it dissolve in
the liquid water, making the rivers run green, blue,
and any other color you add, to make
pretty patterns.

This simple but effective experiment creates 10 minutes plus
spectacular results: simply make a ball of Easy
freezing time
ice, add salt and food coloring, and watch
fabulous patterns paint the ice. You will need
to be careful, though; adding salt to ice
makes the ice even colder—a mixture of
salt and ice can get as cold as -6ºF (-21ºC),
so make sure you don’t touch the ice when
it is mixed with the salt.


If there is space
in your freezer,
put the water-
filled balloon in a
bowl, so it keeps
its round shape.

Food coloring (the more

colors, the better) 1 Place your balloon's opening over the end of a
cold-water faucet. Turn it on to a trickle and
half-fill the balloon with water. Remove and tie off
the balloon—ask an adult for help if you need it.
Put the balloon in the freezer and leave it overnight.

Large bowl If the ice feels

too cold for your
hands, wear
some gloves.


2 The next day, remove the balloon from the

freezer. It should feel hard because the liquid
water has turned into solid ice. Cut the tied end
off the balloon, and peel off the rubber.
You will also need a freezer and a water faucet

Salt grains are crystals, and are made of two types of particle—sodium
ions and chloride ions—joined together. When salt is sprinkled on an icy
orb, the ions break up the regular arrangement of water molecules in
the ice. Once the water molecules are broken apart, the ice becomes
liquid. Since sodium and chloride ions attach to the water molecules,
the water molecules cannot bond together unless the temperature
becomes very cold again.

3 Put your ball of ice back in a bowl or on a Salt crystals are made This sodium ion
of sodium ions (green) breaks apart the ice,
tray. Sprinkle a little salt on top of the ice and chloride ions (red). turning it into water.
ball. Watch the ice melt where the salt grains land,
peppering the icy surface with lots of tiny holes. This chloride ion
clings to a water
molecule (blue) that
has broken free.

4 Drip some food coloring onto the ice. The

coloring will mostly sit on top of the solid ice,
but it will quickly dissolve in the melted ice to make
Water molecules are
bonded together in a
regular pattern when
colored rivers that stream down the side. they are ice (a solid).


5 To make your icy creation look even
more beautiful, add different food colorings.
And if you shine a flashlight or lamp under
In freezing temperatures,
one of your icy creations, you can get a really specially designed trucks
spectacular effect! spread salt spread on
major roads and sidewalks
to prevent accidents. The
salt melts any snow or ice
that is already on these
surfaces, and also prevents
water from turning into ice. This is because adding salt lowers the
freezing point of water.
Science can be a breath of fresh air—especially when it takes you outdoors.
Here are some projects for creating natural wonders, from your own mini
rain forest to an erupting volcano. You can also harness the power of the sun
with just some light-sensitive paper and leaves. Or why not measure the speed
of the wind with an effective monitor made mostly out of paper cups? And if
you're artistically inclined, there are beautiful things to make and keep.

In this experiment you’ll be making your very own jungle,
which will live and grow without needing much help from
you. You’ll only ever have to water it once. Amazingly,
your jungle will then keep itself
watered by producing “rain,” in
much the same way as a real
jungle full of thirsty trees does.

Although no air or water can
get in or out, any plants in the
bottle will thrive. They are part
of an ecosystem, in which all
things in one area—including
animals, plants, and even soil—
work together for survival.

Your plant needs

sunlight, which
reaches it through
the transparent
plastic bottle.

Water collects
on the inside
of the bottle.

You can add moss

and other small
plants if you like.

The soil holds

water, like
a sponge.

Your little jungle needs a healthy plant potted in clean soil
and a 11/2 –2 quart (1.5–2 liter) bottle, which you pack with
some small stones, pistachio shells, and charcoal. Try to
find “activated charcoal,” which is extra absorbent. If you
can’t, just crush up the ordinary kind. Charcoal soaks up Time Difficulty
20 minutes Medium
chemicals produced by any dead plants and will stop your
jungle from getting smelly!


Pistachio shells
Masking tape Small stones
Water in a spray bottle


1 Cut the bottle in two, so

that the base is about
4in (10cm) high. Keep the top
2 Pour in the pistachio shells
on top of the charcoal.
These shells act as a barrier
part for later. Then put a layer to stop the soil that goes
of the small stones into the in next from falling into the
bottom, and charcoal on top. charcoal and the stones below.

Be careful of

Plastic bottle Gently take the sharp edge!
the plant out
of its pot and place
it on top of the pistachio
shells. Try not to shake
up the layers when you
pick up the bottle.

Crushed charcoal Potted plant


In the natural world, during daytime,
water constantly passes through plants
in a process called transpiration. The water
moves up from the roots and out through
tiny holes in the leaves (as invisible vapor).
This turns into water droplets that form
clouds. In your jungle, the vapor becomes
droplets on the inside of the bottle. The
water drops onto the soil, like rain, and
the cycle begins again.

Water vapor

4 Add soil from the pot,

firmly but gently. Any
excess water will drip down
5 Spray the leaves with
water, and also pour a
little water into the soil to make
escapes through
tiny holes in
the leaves,
through the charcoal, but the it damp. Your jungle ecosystem forming droplets.
stones below will prevent your is ready to be closed off from
jungle becoming a soggy bog! the rest of the world.
Water drips
down the sides
Screw the top of the bottle
on tightly so and is absorbed
that no air by the soil.
can get in.

Water goes up the

stem and to the leaves.


join is airtight.

6 Now place the top part

of the bottle on the base.
This is the last time any air
7 Put your jungle somewhere
light and in a warm place—
but not in direct sunlight. If the The proper term for a jungle is tropical
or water will get into or out of bottle gets too warm, the water rain forest. Tropical means “near the
the bottle. Then seal the join will evaporate from the bottom of equator.” These forests are always very
between the two parts of the the bottle, rather than passing up misty. Each tree sucks up hundreds of
bottle with masking tape. through the plant. gallons of water a day. The air is always
full of water vapor—and it rains a lot.

We know about the kinds of animals and plants that lived long ago because
some of them were preserved as fossils after they died. Real fossils take
millions of years to form, but you can make yours in less than 24 hours!
Once you’ve made your fossils, you could bury them in sand and become
a fossil hunter… with successful finds guaranteed!

Pick and choose colors

that will make your
"fozzilized" objects
really stand out.

The experiment shows you how to make
a fossil shell with plaster and then paint
it to look incredibly old. But you can use
whatever natural object you like as a
model. The other “fossil” you see here
is a dried starfish. Keep your eyes open
when you go to the park or for a walk
on a beach. There’ll be plenty of things
to choose from.

Bury your fake fossils and see

if your friends can find them,
just like real fossil hunters!

10 minutes plus
12 hours drying time
The main ingredient for fossil-making is plaster of Paris. This is a
powder that becomes a thick liquid when mixed with water, and then
sets hard. For safety, find an adult to help you when handling this Difficulty
material. Picking an object that will make a good fossil is the fun part: Easy
this can be a shell, or anything with an interesting shape and texture. Warning
Seek an adult’s help when
using plaster of Paris


Plastic bowl Shell


Modeling clay
Plaster of Paris
1 Mix up the plaster of Paris
using a little less water than
most packages tell you to. One cup
2 Next, line the bottom of the
plastic bowl with the modeling
clay. You’ll need a layer about ¾in
of plaster to one cup of water (2cm) deep. Press the clay down
Measuring should give you the nice thick with your fingers to make it as
cup filled liquid you need to work with. flat as you can.
with water


Your fake fossil most closely resembles a
cast fossil. This forms after the soft bits
of a plant or an animal rot away, leaving
a space that fills with sludge. Over millions
of years, the sludge turns into solid rock.
Dinosaur experts have found dinosaur
footprints preserved this way.
The dinosaur's
foot leaves a
deep impression.

3 Pick up your shell and press

it firmly into the modeling clay.
Keep it there for 30 seconds, so it
4 Now pour the plaster of Paris
over the shell impression
in the clay. Leave it for at least
A dinosaur leaves a footprint in soft
waterside mud at low tide.
leaves a distinct shape, then remove 12 hours, so that it can set hard.
it carefully. You should see a perfect Remember: this bit takes thousands A fossil
hunter chips
impression of the shell in the clay. or millions of years for a real fossil! away the
rock and finds
the footprint.
Make sure
the plaster
As the water rises, sludge fills the
has set hard
before you footprint, eventually making a rocky cast.
paint it.



5 When the plaster is set hard,

ease it away from the clay. You
can use your fingers to do this, but
6 Paint your fossil and the
surrounding plaster to make
your ”find” look real. Try making
Trilobites were sea creatures that
became extinct 250 million years ago.
you may want to use a table knife to casts with different objects from They had a hard outer covering but
lever it out—in which case, ask for around the home—but remember no internal bones. When their soft inner
an adult to help you. Turn the plaster to ask the owner’s permission, just parts decayed, minerals filled the
over and there’s your fossil shell. in case it is something valuable! spaces left behind, and fossils formed.

Plants need food for the same reasons you do: to stay alive and
grow. But, unlike you, plants create their own food, using energy
from the sun. In this experiment, you’ll see just how important
sunlight is to a plant. You will challenge a bean seedling to find
its way through a maze made inside a dark box, following
just the tiniest beam of light. It won't take you long to set up
the experiment, but you'll have to wait for the results. Even the
speediest bean needs a few days to grow!


You'll be impressed by the way your plant solves
the maze. In its unstoppable search for light,
it bends to and fro like a snake as it clambers
upward. This is because the two sides of its
stem grow at different rates, depending
on the amount of light they receive.

It might take a week or

more before you see young,
green leaves popping out
of the top of your box.

This experiment is relatively easy for you—but hard work for the plant! Time
45 minutes plus
You’ll grow a bean from a seed and make a secret obstacle course for it growing time
to scramble through. There's some cutting out to do with scissors, but that's
the only part you might need help with. You can't start the experiment until
your seed produces a shoot. So first pot up your bean and put it on a
windowsill for a few days. While you wait, you can build the shoe box maze. Difficulty
Once everything is in place, you'll have to try and be patient for a little longer. Medium


Card stock

Fava bean
Potting soil in Masking tape seeds
a plastic cup

1 Push a fava bean seed

into potting soil, to
about 1in (2.5cm) below
2 Use the water sprayer
to dampen the soil—this
will make a seed grow in a few
Paints the surface. days. Make sure it gets sunlight.
Water in a spray bottle


The word
Scissors for the way
a plant grows
toward light is
Shoe box phototropism.

Fold down the

ends of each piece
of card stock to
make flaps.

3 Now get the shoe box and cut a

2in (5cm) by 1in (2.5cm) hole in the
center of one end. Cover any other holes
4 Paint the box inside and out—this
will make it look great when you put
it on display. White paint makes a good
5 Cut two pieces of card stock to fit
inside the box. Make them wide
enough so you can create flaps on both
in the box with tape to stop unwanted undercoat, with dark green on top, but sides. Near the end of each piece of
light from getting through. you can paint it whatever color you like. card stock, cut out a rectangular hole.

Once a shoot
appears, the plant
will depend on
light to grow.

The card stock

makes the maze
that your bean
seedling will
have to find its
way through.

6 Use tape to attach the flaps of the

card stock to the inside of the box.
Position one piece of card stock about
7 Meanwhile, check for a
green shoot in your cup.
Spray on more water if it's too dry.
one-third of the way down the box, and You can start your experiment once
the other about two-thirds down. Make the seed has grown, or germinated,
sure the two holes are at opposite sides. which may take a few days.

Some light can

pass through
Now that you have seen how well your plant
the hole in finds its way through an easy maze, you can
the top. set a harder challenge! Try growing a plant
through a maze that has smaller holes
or an extra piece of cardstock. You could
also change other parts of the experiment.
What happens if you leave the box open?
Will it make a difference if you close off
The plant receives the hole altogether? Can you get a plant
only the light that to bend without the box, by growing it in
passes through
the hole in the
a dark place with light coming in from only
bottom piece one direction? You could also use a sprouting
of paper. potato instead of a bean—no potting soil
or water needed.

8 Place the plastic cup with the potting soil and

your growing plant at the bottom of the box.
The mouth of the cup should face outward, just
below the hole in the bottom piece of paper. Your plant has passed
the test and zigzagged
through the maze
toward the light.

This is what
you'll see most
of the time,
so be patient.

9 Close the box and seal it with

tape. Stand it where it won't be
toppled over and there is plenty of light. 10 Except to water the soil, keep the box closed until
you see the tip of the plant's shoot poking through
Now and then, unseal the box to water the hole at the top. This might take a week or two, but the
the plant and keep it healthy. end result will be worth the wait!

HOW IT WORKS The light from

the sun enters
Plants use the energy in sunlight to make their own food. through the
In a process called photosynthesis, they soak up the sun's small opening.
energy with their leaves and use it to turn water from the
soil and carbon dioxide from the air into glucose, a type of
sugar. Glucose provides plants with fuel. It is no surprise,
then, that plants have evolved a way to grow toward light, The plant grows,
so they can sunbathe as much as possible. It’s all down weaving a path
to chemicals called auxins. The more auxins in a particular toward the light
through the two
part of the plant, the faster that part will grow. Light other openings.
destroys auxins, so there will be fewer of them in the side
of the stem that receives most light. The shaded side of
the plant contains more auxins, so that side grows more
quickly. This causes the plant to bend toward the light.

Very little light reaches

the bottom of the box.


During daylight, a tree makes glucose by photosynthesis. At night,
it uses the nourishing glucose to stay alive and to keep growing.

Sunlight shining on
the leaves provides
the tree with energy.
The leaves release
the oxygen they
have made.

A young sunflower turns its head from

east to west during the day, following
the sun. At night, it turns back to face The tree takes The roots spread
east again, ready for sunrise the next up carbon dioxide out to gather a lot
from the air. of water.
morning. Both movements are caused by
changing levels of auxins inside the plant.
Once the sunflower’s head has developed,
the plant stops following the sun, usually
settling with its head facing east.

Discover your inner artist by making these intriguing and
beautiful sun prints. You need some special light-sensitive
paper, which you can get from most craft stores or online.
For best results, do this experiment on a bright sunny
day, although it will also work on a cloudy day—it just takes
a little longer. You can use any flat or nearly flat objects,
such as leaves and feathers, to create a stunning gallery.

Think about what shape of Light-sensitive paper

frame works best with your reacts to sunlight to create
sun print—square, rectangle, the wonderful deep blue
or something else entirely. shade of a sun print.

You will be able to make only blue and
white images. The white areas in these
prints are actually the shadows of the
objects used. For the most striking
effects, you could frame your artistic
creations and display them on the wall.
You can cut a simple shape frame out
of cardboard, but to show off a real
masterpiece you might want to add
a ready-made wooden frame as well.

A circular card mount gives

a "designer touch" to the
sun print of this fern.

This experiment uses light-sensitive paper, which is coated
with chemicals that react to sunlight. For best results, pick
a sunny day and work outside. Remember, this is a fast-paced
project, so have a tray of water ready to immerse the
paper when the exposure time is up. Once it is exposed 10 minutes plus a few Difficulty
to light, the paper can’t be used again. hours' waiting time Easy



Light-sensitive paper Feathers Dish towel

(shown in wrapper)

1 Go outside and take one sheet of the light-

sensitive paper out of its pack. Then, pin it
to the cardboard sheet and, as fast as possible,
arrange the feathers on the paper. Wait for
a few minutes and try not to move anything.

Sheet of Heavy book


Tray with water inside

2 The paper will turn from deep blue to pale blue.

Remove the feathers and unpin the paper from
the cardboard. You’ll see shadows where the feathers
stopped the sunlight from reaching the paper.

Use a dish towel

to soak up
water from
the wet paper.

3 As quickly as you can, immerse the paper in

the tray of water. You’ll notice that the deep
blue color of the feathers washes right off, and
4 To dry the paper, place it carefully in a clean,
folded dish towel. Then put a heavy book on
top of the dish towel, as this will help press out the
the pale blue areas turn darker blue. Leave the water and keep the paper flat. Leave the paper
paper in the water for a few minutes. pressed inside the towel for at least a few hours.

5 Unfold the dish towel to check

the paper. If it’s dry, your sun
print is ready! You will see how the
Ultraviolet light from
the sun causes the
compound Prussian
blue to form.
paper has changed color yet again.
The blue areas are much darker now, so
the white feather prints really stand out. Marvel at the stunning
detail of the feather prints.


Why not show off your beautiful sun prints to your Light-sensitive paper is coated in chemicals that react together
friends and family in a sophisticated frame? All you when they are exposed to a form of light called ultraviolet.
need is a ruler, pencil, piece of card stock, glue, This reaction causes a deep-blue compound, known as Prussian
and scissors. blue, to form on the paper. When the paper is put in water, the
original chemicals—which remain in areas that sunlight hasn’t
reached—wash away, but Prussian blue stays on the paper.


If some materials are

1 Using a ruler and sharp

pencil, draw a rectangle
on a thick piece of card stock.
2 Spread a generous
amount of glue around
the back of the frame, then
left in sunlight for a
long time, ultraviolet light
can damage them. So
Make the rectangle slightly stick on the sun print paper. important museum objects,
smaller than the sun print Make sure you place it the
like this 200-year-old
paper. Cut it out carefully. right way up!
American flag, are often
kept in dimly lit areas.

Volcanoes are huge, cone-shaped mountains formed over thousands or millions
of years. Every so often, they erupt, sending hot, molten (liquid) rock out from
the top of the cone, called the crater. Now you can make your own volcano on
a dramatic landscape, using a plastic bottle for the crater and paper-mache
for the cone. Your molten rock may not be as hot as the real thing, but you will
have a lot of fun creating a foamy liquid produced by a chemical reaction using
basic household ingredients. Remember to stand back before the volcano lets rip!

The lava produced by

the chemical reaction
races down the side
of your volcano.

The land around

a real volcano
sometimes floods
with molten lava.

Volcanoes form where molten rock underground, called
magma, escapes to the surface. When it emerges from
underground, magma is called lava. Bubbles of gas make
the lava foamy, just like the lava you’ll produce in this
experiment. The cone of a real volcano is made of lava
that has solidified, and it grows bigger with every eruption.

A chemical reaction inside

your volcano produces the
bubbling lava.

The cone of your

volcano is made
of paper-mache.

This gets messy, so work outdoors if you can. Your volcano
is built from paper-mache, made from newspaper dunked
in a runny paste. The spectacular eruption is produced by
two very ordinary household products: vinegar and baking
soda. If you clean and dry the volcano with paper towels Time Difficulty
90 minutes plus Medium
after an eruption, you can use it again and again. drying time


Baking Vineg War m hw a s h


ing id



3 ⁄1 4 B ow
cu lo


o ur

1 Using your scissors, carefully cut off the top

of the bottle. This is so you can easily add the
ingredients later on—and for it to come out again
Large piece of cardboard in the form of an eruption. This will be the center
of the volcano, with the bottle's mouth as the crater.
Small plastic bottle




Packing tape
2 Using several pieces of packing tape, stick
the bottle to the middle of your large piece of
cardboard. When everything is secure, you're ready to
start building up the volcano’s cone around the bottle.
Food coloring

Pull the tape

tight so that
the paper balls
can’t move.

3 Tear off several pieces of newspaper and

scrunch them into tight balls. Arrange the
paper balls around the bottle. Make the stack
4 Now you can shape the volcano’s cone using
paper-mache. To begin with, tear or cut 50
or more strips of newspaper, about ¾–1¼in (2–3cm)
wider at the bottom than at the top. Tape the balls wide. These will be dunked in a watery glue, which
securely to the cardboard base and to the bottle. you make from flour and water in step 5.

Add the flour

just a small
amount at
a time.

Overlap the
strips in a way
to create your
desired shape.

5 To make the glue, add flour to the bowl

of water and mix it in with a spoon. Keep
adding flour and mixing until you have a runny
6 Saturate the newspaper strips in the paste.
Run the strips through your fingers to remove
excess paste, then lay them over the paper cone.
paste about as thick as pancake batter. Note, Smooth out the strips, sticking some to the
you might not need all the flour. cardboard base and over the mouth of the bottle.

When the paper-

7 You’ve now built your volcano’s
cone. The paper-mache must
dry and harden before you go on
mache is dry, it’s
time to paint it.
The cone of a
to the next stage. So leave it in
a warm place overnight. real volcano is
made of old lava
that has cooled
and turned

Stand your volcano

somewhere warm,
so the paint
dries quickly.

8 Paint the cone dark brown, but leave an

unpainted strip at the bottom. If you don’t
have brown paint, mix together red, green, and blue.
9 Paint the bottom of the cone and the
cardboard base in shades of green to
represent the grass or jungle below. If you like,
If you can get it, add a little sand for a gritty texture. paint the top of the cone red, to look like fiery lava.

10 Here comes the really messy bit! Pour the

ingredients shown below into the volcano’s opening.
Once you have added them all, mix them with a spoon.
11 Get your camera out if you have one because
your volcano is about to explode! Add two or
three teaspoons of baking soda into the volcano's
cone and wait for a few seconds.

The mixture bubbles up

to the top of the cone.

A foamy liquid
spills over and pours
down the slopes, just
like real lava in a
Pour in about 2 tablespoons Pour in about 2 tablespoons volcanic eruption.
of dishwashing liquid. of warm water.

Pour in about 3 tablespoons Finally, add a few drops of

of vinegar. red food coloring.

TAKE IT FURTHER Mixing baking soda (a base) with vinegar (which contains acetic acid) causes a
Instead of using paper-mache on rapid chemical reaction that produces lots of carbon dioxide gas. Tiny bubbles
a cardboard base, you could use mud of this gas become trapped in the dishwashing liquid in your lava mixture. This
to build up a volcano cone on a wooden creates a foam that takes up much more space than the liquid ingredients—so
base. In this version, just leave a hole it all comes frothing out of the mouth of the volcano and trickles down the sides.
in the top of the soil cone and press Real lava has tiny bubbles of carbon dioxide in it, too. When it cools and sets
a plastic cup into it. This makes the hard, the bubbles are trapped.
crater where you will mix up the lava.
If you’re allowed to use lots of vinegar
and baking soda, stir up a really large REAL WORLD SCIENCE
cupful of ingredients and create a truly TUNGARAHUA VOLCANO
gigantic eruption. Or you could see Your volcano is the shape of what
what happens if you replace baking is known as a cinder cone volcano.
soda with cola, which contains Tungarahua, shown in the picture,
phosphoric acid. is an active volcano of this type in
Ecuador, South America. When it
erupts, lava and ash run down and
solidify, forming another layer of
rock to build up the growing cone.

There are several types of volcano, but deep inside each one there is a large pool
When the flow starts to of molten rock, called the magma chamber. When underground pressures increase,
slow, keep the fun going
by adding more baking the magma is pushed into a central tube and out through the crater as lava.
soda and vinegar.

An erupting
volcano releases
Red food coloring huge amounts of
makes your foamy smoke and ash,
mixture actually as well as lava.
look like lava. The cone is made
up of many layers
of solidified lava.
The lava is easy to Lava runs out
wipe up when the from the crater
eruption is finally over. and spills down the
When the volcano sides of the cone.
isn't erupting, the
magma remains in
the chamber.

Find out how to read the wind! The only difference between a howling gale
and a gentle breeze is how fast the air is going. Meteorologists, the people
who study weather, use a device called an anemometer to measure wind speed.
You can easily make one of these for yourself—and then broadcast weather
reports to your family or your class at school! There are different kinds of
anemometer, but lots of them have several cups to catch the wind—just
like the model shown here.

As the wind catches the

cups, it pushes the
anemometer around.


This type of anemometer, called a Robinson
anemometer, has cups that go whizzing around
and around when they catch the wind. At a weather
station, a sensor automatically measures the speed
of rotation. But with your anemometer, which is
made with paper cups, you do the counting yourself.

The dot is very important—

it allows you to count each
spin of the anemometer.

The top part moves

around easily to give
an accurate reading.

For your anemometer to work properly, you must make
sure it can't wobble. Either fix it to a table or on top of
a wall with adhesive putty, or just hold it in your hand. Find
a nice breezy place to conduct your experiment—a sheltered
spot won't do! Count how many times the cups spin in one Time Difficulty
20 minutes Medium
minute by watching a specially marked cup. Note the
number of spins on different days and in different sites.


1 Cut the straw to a length of about 4in (10cm).

If it’s a bendy straw, just snip off the bendy bit.
Then use the scissors to split one end of the straw
Six paper cups
into four flaps, each about ¾in (2cm) long.

Wooden skewers

e pu t t y


Tape 2 Open out the straw flaps. Then, using a few

blobs of adhesive putty, fix the flaps onto
the bottom of an upturned paper cup. Stand the
straw up as straight as possible. In your finished
Card stock anemometer, this cup will be the other way up.

Turn the four

cups until they
all face the
same way.

3 Push a skewer all the way through the cup

with the attached straw—watch your fingers
on the sharp ends! Do the same with a second
4 Use the third skewer to pierce holes through
the middles of four more cups. These cups
will slot on to the two skewers sticking out of the
skewer, placing it at right angles to the first one. middle cup. Push them into place.

For safety,
you can snip off
the sharp ends
of the skewers.

6 Slip the open end of the

straw over the skewer. If your
wind-catching cups won't stay level,
Mark a dot with
colored tape on
fix them to the skewers with more one cup.

5 Cut out a card stock circle. Press a

lump of adhesive putty on to it. Push
the skewer through the final cup and press
adhesive putty. Finally, mark a dot
on one cup—this lets you count every
turn as the anemometer spins around.
the skewer and cup rim into the putty. Then, go outside and test it out!


As the wind blows, it pushes the mouth of WIND TURBINE
one cup and also the base of the cup on Wind can be very powerful, supplying
the opposite end of the same skewer. The enough energy to turn massive wind
force is greater on the cup with its mouth turbines. These, in turn, drive electric
facing into the wind, so the anemometer generators, so the energy ends up as
will spin. This brings the other pair of electricity used to power homes, schools,
cups into the wind. The faster the wind offices, and factories. If the wind speed
blows, the more times the cups rotate doubles, the energy increases not twice as
per minute. much—but an amazing eight times as much!

A substance that when dissolved 1. The smallest living part of a The amount of mass there is The remains or traces of a
in water produces positively living thing. Plants and animals in a particular volume. long-dead animal or plant that
charged ions of hydrogen. are made of up to trillions have been preserved in rock.
Lemon juice and vinegar of cells. 2. A chemical device that DNA
are examples of acids. forms part of an electric battery. Short for deoxyribonucleic acid. GENE
DNA is a compound found in Part of the DNA found in
AIR RESISTANCE CELLULOSE the cells of all living things. every living cell. Genes help
A force that acts on an A compound that forms the DNA holds coded instructions to make living things the way
object moving through air, tough fibers of plant cell walls. (genes) that control what they are, such as a tall, brown-
in the opposite direction people, animals, and plants eyed person or a leafy plant.
to the object's motion. CHEMICAL look like and how they function.
A compound or element that GENOME
ATOM can change when combined with ELECTRIC CURRENT The complete set of information
The smallest part of an element. another substance. Chemicals Movement of electric charge. carried by all the genes in a
can be liquids, solids, or gases. living thing. The human genome
ATTRACTION ELECTRON consists of about 20,000 genes.
A force that pulls things together. CIRCUIT A tiny particle in an atom that
A complete and closed path, has a negative electric charge. GLUCOSE
BACTERIA around which an electric A compound made by plants
Microscopic, single-celled current can flow. ELEMENT during photosynthesis. Glucose
organisms. Some can cause A substance made of just one is a sugar, and is used for energy.
illness, but most are harmless. COMPOUND type of atom that cannot be
A chemical made of two or more broken down into a simpler GRAVITY
BASE elements. For example, water substance by chemical reactions. An attractive force between two
A kind of substance that is a compound, made of the objects. Gravity keeps you on the
reacts with an acid to give elements hydrogen and oxygen. ENERGY ground instead of floating around.
water and salt. The ability to make things
COMPRESSION happen. Energy has different HELIX
BOND A squashing force, such as that forms, such as electrical energy A shape that winds around like a
A force that holds together experienced by weight-bearing and kinetic energy (movement). spiral staircase. DNA molecules
tiny particles such as atoms materials in buildings. have a double helix shape.
and molecules. EVAPORATION
CONDUCTOR The process by which a liquid INSULATOR
CARBON DIOXIDE A substance through which heat turns into a gas, usually because A substance through which heat
A compound found as a gas or electricity can easily pass. of an increase in temperature. or electricity cannot pass easily.
in the air all around us. We
breathe out carbon dioxide CRYSTAL FILTRATION ION
as a waste product. A regular arrangment of atoms The process of separating solids An atom that has gained or lost
or molecules held together from liquids by passing the electrons, so gaining a negative
by bonds in a solid. mixture through a filter. or positive electric charge.


Short for "light-emitting The path of a planet, comet, A mixture of two chemicals, The movement of water through
diode." An LED is an electronic or asteroid through space normally a solid dissolved the tubes in a plant’s stem and
component that lights up when an around the sun, or the path into a liquid. leaves and its evaporation as
electric current flows through it. of a moon around a planet. vapor through tiny holes in
Gravity keeps objects in orbit. STALACTITE the leaves.
MASS An icicle-like structure hanging
A measure of the amount of OXYGEN from a cave roof, formed ULTRAVIOLET
matter in an object. An element. One of the gases gradually from minerals RADIATION (UV)
in air, essential for most of the deposited by dripping water. A form of radiation. A type
MATTER life on Earth. of light that's invisible to
The name used for the materials STALAGMITE human eyes.
that make up the universe. PHOTOSYNTHESIS A column rising from the floor
The process by which green of a cave, formed gradually VAPOR
MICROORGANISM plants make food from carbon from minerals deposited by A gas that easily changes into
Any microscopic thing that dioxide and water using the dripping water. a liquid if it is cooled or put
is alive, such as bacteria. energy of the sun. under pressure.
MINERAL PHOTOTROPISM The buildup of electric charge VIRUS
A natural material, normally The way a plant turns and on an object that has lost or A nonliving microscopic particle,
found underground. There are bends toward the sunlight. gained electrons. smaller than a cell. Viruses
hundreds of different types. reproduce by invading living
Rocks are made of minerals. PRESSURE STREAMLINED cells, and can cause illness.
A force applied to a surface, An object shaped in a way that
MIXTURE particularly by gases or liquids. offers very little resistance to VISCOSITY
A substance made of two or the flow of liquid or gas. The resistance of a liquid to
more compounds or elements. PROTEIN changing shape. A thick, sticky
A particular type of compound SUGAR substance like honey flows slowly
MOLECULE essential to life. Proteins make One of many sweet-tasting because it has a high viscosity.
Two or more atoms held up skin and hair, and also carry compounds, such as glucose.
together by bonds. out all sorts of functions that VOLTAGE
keep you alive. SURFACE TENSION A measure of the force
NEUTRON A force that pulls the surface of that pushes electrons around
A tiny particle in an atom that PROTON a liquid tight. It is the result of a circuit.
contains no electric charge. A tiny particle in an atom that attraction between atoms or
carries a positive electric charge. molecules. VOLUME
NON-NEWTONIAN The size of a three-dimensional
FLUID REPULSION TENSION space occupied by something
A liquid that can change its A force that pushes things away A pulling force, such as that or enclosing something.
form and behavior depending from each other. exerted by the steel cables used
upon the forces applied to it. in parts of buildings or bridges.

INDEX glucose 17, 143 cellulose 17 stalactite 114–17, 159

A D gravity 51, 61, 81 DNA 43 starch 13
aerodynamics 44–51 de-icing 127
oil 97 static electricity 80–85
air 23, 27, 44, 45, 51, density 94–97, 158 H starch 13 sugar crystals 28–33
66, 67, 73 detergent 97 hang glider 51 sugar 33 sun 56, 61, 143
resistance, 73, 158 diaphragm 86, 91 helix 43, 158 water 13, 33, 97, 107, 127 sun print 144–147
albumin 23 dinosaur footprints 137 honey 96, 97 neutralization 122 surface tension 107, 159
anemometer 154–157 dishwashing liquid 97, hydroelectricity 103 Non-Newtonian fluid 13,
atom 37, 158 104, 107 hydrogen 123 159 TU
auxins 143 DNA 40–43, 158 tension 79, 159
I O trachea 89, 91
B E ice ball 124–127 oil 97 transpiration 133, 159
baking soda 118, ecosystem 130, 133 igloo 23 oil spill 97 triangles 74, 78, 79
123, 152, 153 egg white 23 insulator 18, 23, 158 trilobite 137
battery 34–37 electricity invisible ink 14–17 PQ truss bridge 74
breathing 86–91 battery 34–37 ion 117, 127, 158 paper 17 turbine 103
bridge 74–79 hydroelectricity 103 light-sensitive 147 wind 157
bronchi 86, 89, 91 static 80–85, 159 JK planes 44–51 ultraviolet 147, 159
bubbles 107, 123, 153 electron 37, 85, 158 jet engine 73 photosynthesis 143, 159
energy kaleidoscope 62–65 phototropism 140, 159 V
kinetic 99, 103, 158 kinetic energy 99, 158 planets 56–61 viscosity 12, 13, 159
caramelization 17 potential (stored) 99, plant 130–133, 138–143 vitamin tablet 123
carbon dioxide 87, 119, 103 L pressure 13, 159 volcano 148–153
123, 143, 153, 158 sun’s 143 lava 148–149, 153
prism 64, 65 voltage 35, 159
cell voltage 35, 159 lemon juice ink 14–17
protein 43, 159
battery, 35, 158 LifeStraw 113
proton 85, 159 W
body 40, 158 F lightning 85
Prussian blue 147 water 93–127
cellulose 17, 158 filter 108–113 lungs 86–91 density 97
quicksand 13
charcoal 113, 132 footprints, dinosaur 137 filtering 108–113
chocolate 27 forces 51, 103 MN RS molecules 13, 97, 107, 127
compression 79, 158 fossil 134–137, 158 magma 149, 153
rain forest, tropical 133 surface tension 107, 159
cream of tartar 118, 123 frost, hoar 33 meringue 18–23
salt 127 transpiration 133, 159
crystals 28–33, 114, 117, microwaves 26
slime 10–13 wheel 98–103
127, 158 G milk 96, 97
solar system 58–61 wind 154, 157
gene 43, 158 molecule
sound 55 turbine 157
genome 43, 158 albumin 23
speakers 52–55

Steve Crozier and Phil Fitzgerald for retouching; Niki Dirnberger Dreamstime.com: Katja Nykanen - Catyamaria (br). 73 Getty
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